New York—State Senator Liz Krueger presided over the Senate today, her first opportunity to do so since becoming a Senator in a 2002. Until this year Republicans had controlled the Senate since 1965 and therefore Democratic members had not been allowed to preside over the Senate. Senator Krueger's opportunity to preside over the Senate comes on the heels of Andrea Stewart-Cousins historic moment of being the first African-American woman to preside over the Senate and represents a new opportunity for women to have a real voice in the State Senate.
"I am honored to have been given this opportunity to preside over the Senate today," said Senator Krueger. "Women have long been under-represented in our State and today is a symbol of how the Senate, under Democratic leadership, will truly allow women to be a part of the process."
During the session today the Senate voted unanimously to pass A.4919 which will increase the unemployment insurance benefit appropriation by $2 billion to accommodate significant increased program spending resulting from the economic downturn and from Federal legislation which has been enacted granting an additional 33 weeks of UI benefit eligibility for claimants who have exhausted the normal 26 week benefit period. This additional $2 billion appropriation into the $3 billion UI Benefit-Enterprise fund is supported by taxes on employers and Federal funds, and has no impact on the financial plan.
Senator Krueger said, "In our current fiscal crisis it is absolutely necessary that we ensure there is money for the people who need it most. Passing this bill guarantees that funding will exist for the thousands of New Yorkers who are currently out of work."
The Senate also voted to confirm Michael Baden to the Correction Medical Review Board. Dr. Baden resides in Senator Krueger's district on the Upper East Side.
"Being able to preside over the Senate on a day that one of my own constituents was confirmed to a position on the Correction Medical Review Board was a real privilege," stated Senator Krueger. "Dr. Baden is an extremely qualified and talented individual who I expect will serve our State very well."