Senator Serrano pledged to work tirelessly with the new Governor to ensure a smooth transition of power, and one that does nothing to interrupt the upcoming budget negotiations.
"On March 17th, David Paterson took the oath of office as New York's Governor," said the Senator. "At a time of change in our state government, it comforts me to know that we have a man of great intellect and experience leading us back to calmer waters."
Before assuming the role of Lieutenant Governor, David Paterson was Minority Leader of the State Senate, representing the Harlem district that adjoins Senator Serrano's own 28th District.
Governor Paterson spent 21 years as a State Senator. He championed a diverse range of issues, including civil rights, healthcare and immigration.
"I consider him a friend, mentor and ally. He has the political skills and temperament of a great unifier," said Senator Serrano. "David Paterson possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of history and government, and at the same time an amazing sense of humor and compassion. This rare combination will make him, I believe, one of the most productive governors this state has ever seen."
He added: "The unexpected transfer of power does nothing to obstruct the path to reform."
"We have a state in dire need of legislative and campaign finance reform. This is not to mention the need for leadership on issues of health care, housing and immigration. David Paterson is that leader, and I look forward to the months and years ahead."
Governor Paterson is the first African-American governor of New York State, and the first legally-blind governor in the country.
"Though I wish the circumstances were different, I consider this a watershed and historic moment in the state's history that I am so proud to be a part of," said Senator Serrano.