New York state government is controlled by Democrats. The party holds all statewide offices and supermajorities in the state Senate and Assembly.

But some Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt this year have been hearing from the state's top Democrat: Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

"There has been a dialogue and I appreciate that," Ortt said this week. "I don't know where that will always go, but I do think dialogue is certainly important."

Hochul has had challenges from her own party this year. Her nominee to lead New York's top court was rejected by Democrats in the state Senate, once by a committee and later in the full chamber. 

Her proposal to change New York's 2019 bail law — a significant focal point of debate over crime in her bid for a full term last year — has not been supported by top Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly. 

At the same time, Republicans have had no shortage of criticism for Hochul's budget, including provisions to end natural gas hookups in new construction as well as linking the state's minimum wage to inflation.

Her push to expand housing has drawn a sharp rebuke from suburban Republicans in particular as the party hopes to grow its base on Long Island after successful congressional victories. 

Nevertheless, Republican lawmakers have been hopeful Hochul will continue to draw a line in the sand in the negotiations surrounding the bail law. 

"We've been the voice of the people for the past two years on this issue and we continue to bang the drum and I think some on the other side are starting to listen," said state Assemblyman Chris Tague. 

Meanwhile, Hochul's top-tier budget items have been supported by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican who once cut the state Senate GOP a $1 million check as the party sought to hold power in the chamber. Bloomberg has helped seed a multi-million dollar ad campaign boosting the governor's agenda. 

Michael Kink of Strong Economy All pointed to bipartisan support among New York voters polls for increasing taxes on wealthy people and raising the minimum wage in addition to linking it to inflation. 

"That's a place where the governor could actually unify the state," Kink said. "She should take these things and get out of these unpopular policies that Bloomberg and the Republicans are talking her into."

Hochul, an Erie County native, represented a conservative congressional district in western New York. She pointed to her time in Congress, where there is practical need for bipartisanship at times in order to win passage of legislation.  

"I said I would come to Albany and try to change the culture," she said. "When I was in Washington, I worked with Republicans all the time. I represented the most Republican district in New York at the time." 

And she says there's value in speaking across the aisle, even in a Democratic-heavy state like New York. 

"They have districts that are part of the state of New York," Hochul said. "Therefore I want to hear what's on their minds, what's important in their districts."