Regular Session - January 12, 2022

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 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE








 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                  January 12, 2022

11                     11:16 a.m.



14                   REGULAR SESSION




18  SENATOR JAMAAL T. BAILEY, Acting President









 1                P R O C E E D I N G S

 2                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 3    Senate will come to order.

 4                 I ask everyone present to please 

 5    rise and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                 (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7    the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   In the 

 9    absence of clergy, let us bow our heads in a 

10    moment of silent reflection or prayer.

11                 (Whereupon, the assemblage respected 

12    a moment of silence.)

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

14    reading of the Journal.

15                 THE SECRETARY:   In Senate, Tuesday, 

16    January 11, 2022, the Senate met pursuant to 

17    adjournment.  The Journal of Monday, January 10, 

18    2022, was read and approved.  On motion, the 

19    Senate adjourned.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Without 

21    objection, the Journal stands approved as read.

22                 Presentation of petitions.

23                 Messages from the Assembly.

24                 Messages from the Governor.

25                 Reports of standing committees.


 1                 Reports of select committees.

 2                 Communications and reports from 

 3    state officers.

 4                 Motions and resolutions.

 5                 Senator Gianaris.

 6                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

 7    Mr. President.

 8                 At this time can we please take up 

 9    previously adopted Resolution 1264, by 

10    Senator Mannion, read its title only and 

11    recognize Senator Mannion.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

13    Secretary will read.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

15    1264, by Senator Mannion, commending Dr. Stephen 

16    Thomas upon the occasion of his designation as 

17    recipient of a Liberty Medal, the highest honor 

18    bestowed upon an individual by the New York State 

19    Senate.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

21    Mannion on the resolution.

22                 SENATOR MANNION:   Thank you, 

23    Mr. President.

24                 I rise to honor Dr. (Colonel) 

25    Stephen Thomas of SUNY Upstate Medical 


 1    University, a veteran of the armed forces, a 

 2    virologist and vaccinologist, a father and 

 3    husband, and now recipient of the New York State 

 4    Senate Liberty Medal, the highest award this body 

 5    can bestow.

 6                 Amid an unprecedented global 

 7    pandemic, Dr. Thomas's expertise has been 

 8    invaluable in developing lifesaving vaccines, 

 9    understanding and responding to this virus, and 

10    of course treating patients.

11                 When COVID-19 began to spread in the 

12    United States, he was put in charge of the 

13    COVID-19 Incident Command at SUNY Upstate.  He is 

14    at the forefront of critical advancements related 

15    to both vaccine development and large-scale 

16    testing implementation.  Knowing Dr. Thomas, he 

17    would make it a point to also recognize the 

18    excellent team of researchers, doctors and nurses 

19    with whom he works in Syracuse to protect public 

20    health around the world through groundbreaking 

21    science and innovation.

22                 Under Dr. Thomas's guidance, 

23    Syracuse was one of the earliest cities to house 

24    drive-up testing and triage sites where anyone 

25    showing signs of the virus could be tested.  


 1                 In November of 2020, Dr. Thomas was 

 2    appointed lead principal investigator for the 

 3    worldwide Pfizer vaccine trial.  Make no mistake, 

 4    the work of Dr. Thomas and his team has saved 

 5    untold millions of lives around the world through 

 6    safe and effective vaccinations.  

 7                 Mr. President, there's not enough 

 8    time to speak to all of Dr. Thomas's 

 9    accomplishments, and there are not enough words 

10    to express our gratitude to him.

11                 To Dr. Thomas, I know that your son 

12    Mac is looking down and carrying your heart, just 

13    as you carry his.  Thank you, sir, for your 

14    extraordinary service to the people of this state 

15    and beyond.

16                 Thank you, Mr. President.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

18    May on the resolution.

19                 SENATOR MAY:   Thank you, 

20    Mr. President.

21                 And thank you, Senator Mannion, for 

22    bringing this resolution and for honoring 

23    Dr. Thomas with a Liberty Medal, which typically 

24    goes to people who have saved lives.  

25                 There's probably no one on earth who 


 1    has saved more lives than Dr. Thomas because the 

 2    Pfizer vaccine, which he not only was 

 3    instrumental in getting tested, but he also was 

 4    instrumental in getting it approved for use, has 

 5    saved tens of millions of lives around the world.  

 6                 Dr. Thomas is Senator Mannion's 

 7    constituent, but he works in my district at SUNY 

 8    Upstate Medical University.  And I could not be 

 9    more proud to have SUNY Upstate in my district, 

10    where not only did they host the tests for the 

11    Pfizer vaccine, but Dr. Thomas's colleague, 

12    Frank Middleton, developed the pooled 

13    surveillance testing and the individual saliva 

14    testing that were approved by the FDA and that 

15    have also been instrumental in controlling the 

16    virus and in helping to reduce the number of 

17    deaths that we have seen.

18                 So I just second what Senator 

19    Mannion said and say we owe a huge debt of 

20    gratitude to Dr. Thomas, Dr. Middleton, and to 

21    the whole SUNY Upstate Medical University 

22    community.  

23                 So I am grateful for this resolution 

24    and pleased to be able to speak on it.  

25                 Thank you.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 2    resolution was previously adopted on 

 3    January 11th.

 4                 Senator Gianaris.

 5                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Mr. President, 

 6    at the request of Senator Mannion, that 

 7    resolution is open for cosponsorship.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 9    resolution is open for cosponsorship.  Should you 

10    choose not to be a cosponsor of the resolution, 

11    please notify the desk.

12                 Senator Gianaris.

13                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Please take up 

14    the reading of the calendar.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

16    Secretary will read.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 18, 

18    Senate Print 7690, by Senator Skoufis, an act to 

19    amend the Public Health Law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

21    last section.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

23    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

24    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 


 1    roll.

 2                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 4    the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 6    Calendar Number 18, those Senators voting in the 

 7    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Gallivan, 

 8    Griffo, Lanza, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Rath and 

 9    Stec.

10                 Ayes, 53.  Nays, 10.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

12    is passed.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 20, 

14    Senate Print 7692, by Senator Breslin, an act to 

15    amend the Insurance Law.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

17    last section.

18                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

19    act shall take effect immediately.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

21    roll.

22                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

24    the results.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 


 1    Calendar Number 20, those Senators voting in the 

 2    negative are Senators Borrello, Boyle, Gallivan, 

 3    Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, Martucci, 

 4    Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, Ritchie, 

 5    Serino, Stec, Tedisco and Weik.

 6                 Ayes, 45.  Nays, 18.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 8    is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 22, 

10    Senate Print 7694, by Senator Rivera, an act to 

11    amend the Public Health Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

13    last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

15    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

16    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

18    roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

21    the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

24    is passed.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 23, 


 1    Senate Print 7695, by Senator SepĂșlveda, an act 

 2    to amend a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 4    last section.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 6    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

 7    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 9    roll.

10                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

12    the results.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

14    Calendar 23, voting in the negative:  

15    Senator Savino.

16                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

18    is passed.

19                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 24, 

20    Senate Print 7696, by Senator Brouk, an act to 

21    amend the Public Health Law and the Environmental 

22    Conservation Law.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

24    last section.

25                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 


 1    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

 2    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 4    roll.

 5                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 7    the results.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

 9    Calendar 24, those Senators voting in the 

10    negative are Senators Akshar, Borrello, Boyle, 

11    Gallivan, Griffo, Helming, Jordan, Lanza, 

12    Mattera, Oberacker, O'Mara, Ortt, Palumbo, Rath, 

13    Ritchie, Stec and Tedisco.

14                 Ayes, 46.  Nays, 17.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

16    is passed.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 27, 

18    Senate Print 7699, by Senator Stavisky, an act to 

19    amend the Education Law.

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

21    last section.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

23    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

24    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

25                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 


 1    roll.  

 2                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 4    the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 7    is passed.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 28, 

 9    Senate Print 7700, by Senator Mayer, an act to 

10    amend a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

12    last section.

13                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 4.  This 

14    act shall take effect immediately.  

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

16    roll.

17                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

19    the results.

20                 THE SECRETARY:   In relation to 

21    Calendar Number 28, voting in the negative:  

22    Senator Skoufis.

23                 Ayes, 62.  Nays, 1.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

25    is passed.


 1                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 30, 

 2    Senate Print 7702, by Senator Kaminsky, an act to 

 3    amend the Environmental Conservation Law.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

 5    last section.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 2.  This 

 7    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

 8    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

 9                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

10    roll.

11                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

13    the results.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

16    is passed.

17                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 34, 

18    Senate Print 7706, by Senator Harckham, an act to 

19    amend the Executive Law and the Public Health 

20    Law.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

22    last section.

23                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

24    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

25    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.


 1                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

 2    roll.

 3                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 5    the results.

 6                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

 8    is passed.

 9                 THE SECRETARY:   Calendar Number 35, 

10    Senate Print 7707, by Senator Ryan, an act to 

11    amend the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Read the 

13    last section.

14                 THE SECRETARY:   Section 3.  This 

15    act shall take effect on the same date and in the 

16    same manner as a chapter of the Laws of 2021.

17                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Call the 

18    roll.

19                 (The Secretary called the roll.)

20                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

21    the results.

22                 THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 63.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The bill 

24    is passed.

25                 Senator Gianaris, that completes the 


 1    reading of today's calendar.

 2                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   At this time, 

 3    Mr. President, I believe there's a report of the 

 4    Judiciary Committee at the desk.  Can we please 

 5    take that up and recognize Senator Hoylman.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 7    Secretary will read.

 8                 THE SECRETARY:   Senator Hoylman, 

 9    from the Committee on Judiciary, reports the 

10    following nomination.  

11                 As an associate judge of the Court 

12    of Appeals, Shirley Troutman.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

14    Hoylman.

15                 SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you, 

16    Mr. President.  I rise to move the nomination of 

17    Justice Shirley Troutman.  

18                 First I want to thank Judge Eugene 

19    Fahey for his years of service to the State of 

20    New York on the Court of Appeals.  He is retiring 

21    due to an ageist provision, I would suggest, of 

22    our State Constitution that forces all judges to 

23    retire at age 70.

24                 I think it's a shame that we as a 

25    state lose so many qualified judges with such a 


 1    wealth of experience, regardless of merit or 

 2    their ability to continue to serve the people of 

 3    New York.  And that's something, as the chair of 

 4    the Judiciary Committee, I hope to continue to 

 5    explore this session.

 6                 But now on to the nominee before 

 7    this house.  I had the honor, Mr. President, of 

 8    chairing yesterday's Judiciary Committee meeting, 

 9    during which we had a substantive and informative 

10    discussion with Appellate Division Justice 

11    Shirley Troutman.  I thank my colleagues on the 

12    committee for their thoughtful questions to 

13    Justice Troutman, and I also want to thank 

14    Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the 

15    staff for supporting the committee's work and 

16    ensuring the committee and the Senate have 

17    sufficient time and resources to effectively 

18    deliberate Justice Troutman's nomination.

19                 Justice Troutman is Governor 

20    Hochul's first judicial nomination, and she is an 

21    historic one.  She will be the second-ever Black 

22    woman to serve on New York's highest court, and 

23    the only Black woman on the current Court of 

24    Appeals.

25                 It's a fitting nomination, 


 1    Mr. President, before this chamber with so many 

 2    Black women leading the way -- of course our 

 3    leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, her chief of 

 4    staff, Shontell Smith.  The Secretary of the 

 5    Senate is a woman of color.  And this is another 

 6    proud moment in that legacy that has only 

 7    recently been established.

 8                 Justice Troutman is not a native 

 9    New Yorker, but she got here as soon as she 

10    could.  After growing up in Georgia, she moved to 

11    Buffalo to attend SUNY Buffalo and later got her 

12    law degree right here at Albany Law School.  

13                 She immediately entered public 

14    service and soon began working her way up the 

15    judicial ranks, first becoming a Buffalo City 

16    Court judge in 1994, then County Court, 

17    Supreme Court, and finally elevated to the 

18    Appellate Division.  I wish I had that career 

19    trajectory.  She was elevated to the Appellate 

20    Division Fourth Department in 2016.

21                 While this resume is impressive, it 

22    only tells part of Justice Troutman's inspiring 

23    story.  As many know, when the Commission on 

24    Judicial Nomination began to examine candidates 

25    to present to the Governor, I led many of my 


 1    colleagues in calling on the commission to 

 2    present candidates that had a background in civil 

 3    legal services or public defense work.  The 

 4    commission did present two candidates with such a 

 5    background, for which we do thank them.  

 6                 When Governor Hochul nominated 

 7    Justice Troutman, I know that there were many 

 8    legal advocates and practitioners that we spoke 

 9    to who were initially uncertain about her resume 

10    on paper because it seemed like so many other 

11    nominations they had seen before.

12                 Well, after meeting with 

13    Justice Troutman and listening to our discussion 

14    in committee yesterday, I can assure you 

15    Governor Hochul has made a fantastic choice.  

16    Justice Troutman will be an excellent addition to 

17    the bench, and I wholeheartedly support her 

18    nomination.

19                 Let me explain to you a bit about 

20    what I mean.  Justice Troutman demonstrated that 

21    she understands the perspective of our state's 

22    most vulnerable.  She knows what it means to deny 

23    someone their liberty, even for a single day.  

24    Yesterday she testified that she physically 

25    trembled, she said, when she first had to 


 1    sentence a defendant to more than 10 years in 

 2    prison, because she realized, Mr. President, the 

 3    solemn and terrifying impact the court was 

 4    imposing on that individual.

 5                 Justice Troutman also understands 

 6    better than anyone the horrific scourge of racial 

 7    injustice that is in so many ways baked into our 

 8    legal system, unfortunately.  For the last 

 9    several years she has cochaired the Franklin 

10    Williams Commission, which educates and advises 

11    decisionmakers in the New York court system on 

12    issues affecting both employees and litigants of 

13    color, and implements recommendations developed 

14    to address these issues.  

15                 And I want to also acknowledge the 

16    Chief Judge, who is here, for her splendid work 

17    in that regard with the commission that she 

18    initiated under the leadership of Jeh Johnson.

19                 As part of that work, 

20    Justice Troutman was intimately involved in the 

21    development of the recent report that the 

22    Chief Judge commissioned that exposed many ways 

23    that our court system disadvantages and 

24    disrespects litigants of color.  So we expect 

25    that work to continue under the Chief Judge's 


 1    leadership, along with Justice Troutman.

 2                 On a personal level, 

 3    Justice Troutman has dealt with racism in the 

 4    legal system.  I was shocked when she relayed the 

 5    story yesterday of a potential juror that openly 

 6    avowed that she could not render a fair verdict 

 7    because of the defendant's race.

 8                 I was shocked but, sadly, I'm sure 

 9    Justice Troutman has heard it before.  While I 

10    and many others would have more than a few choice 

11    words to say to such a person as nonjudges, most 

12    of which are unsuitable for this body, 

13    Justice Troutman calmly recognized the importance 

14    of the person's honesty for the purposes of 

15    building an impartial jury, and she continued to 

16    run the jury selection with professionalism and 

17    poise.

18                 Finally, I want to call attention to 

19    one recent opinion Justice Troutman wrote that 

20    particularly struck me.  In this case, a young 

21    woman was being attacked, bullied, in her high 

22    school.  When a teacher stepped in to break up 

23    the attack the young woman, not knowing who the 

24    person was, and believing it may have been a 

25    second attacker, lashed out with a knife and 


 1    injured the teacher.

 2                 The young woman was convicted, and 

 3    by all accounts she acknowledged that her actions 

 4    were wrong.  But when it came time for 

 5    sentencing, the trial court ignored the 

 6    recommendations of the defense, the prosecution, 

 7    and even the victim, and denied the defendant 

 8    youthful offender status.  This young woman was a 

 9    high school student.  

10                 When the case came before Justice 

11    Troutman in the Appellate Division, she 

12    recognized the injustice that this court ruling 

13    would render.  She specifically cited the 

14    intersectionality at play in the defendant's 

15    case.  She put forward statistics showing that 

16    prosecutors dismissed seven out of every 10 cases 

17    involving white girls, as opposed to only three 

18    out of every 10 cases for African-American girls.

19                 Using these facts and her 

20    understanding of what it must be like to be this 

21    young woman involved in the criminal justice 

22    system, Justice Troutman was able to convince her 

23    colleagues to unanimously support her order to 

24    reverse the trial court and grant youthful 

25    offender status, exercising the court's 


 1    discretion in the interest of justice.

 2                 I'm certain that Justice Troutman 

 3    will continue her stellar work on the Court of 

 4    Appeals.  I'm certain that the Chief Judge 

 5    welcomes her into the ranks of this esteemed body 

 6    which is so important to New Yorkers at every 

 7    level.  When the time comes, I'll be voting aye 

 8    on this nomination.  

 9                 I'm very proud to hereby move her 

10    nomination, Mr. President, to the floor.  And 

11    please recognize, of course, any Senator who 

12    wishes to speak on the nomination.

13                 Thank you, Mr. President.

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

15    you, Senator Hoylman.

16                 Senator Kennedy on the nomination.

17                 SENATOR KENNEDY:   Thank you very 

18    much, Mr. President.

19                 I rise to support Governor Hochul's 

20    extraordinary nomination of one of Buffalo and 

21    all of New York's finest jurists to the position 

22    of associate judge on the Court of Appeals, the 

23    Honorable Shirley Troutman.  

24                 Welcome, Judge Troutman, to these 

25    auspicious chambers, as well as the Chief Judge 


 1    of the courts here as well today.

 2                 I want to thank the Governor for 

 3    putting forward this nomination.  I want to thank 

 4    our great Majority Leader, Andrea 

 5    Stewart-Cousins, for moving this nomination to 

 6    the floor today, and our great Judiciary 

 7    chairman, who articulated the amazing history and 

 8    experience, expertise, professionalism and heart 

 9    that Justice Troutman will bring to the court's 

10    highest position.

11                 Justice Troutman has served with 

12    distinction throughout her career, from her time 

13    as prosecutor in the Erie County District 

14    Attorney's office to the New York State Attorney 

15    General's office, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the 

16    Western District, to her terms on the Buffalo 

17    City Court, the Erie County Court, the State 

18    Supreme Court and currently as an associate 

19    justice for the Appellate Division since 2016.

20                 Her honors and awards speak for 

21    themselves:  The Outstanding Service to the 

22    University and Community by a Non-Alumnus Award 

23    from the U.B. School of Law, the Trailblazer 

24    Award from the Minority Bar Association of 

25    Western New York, the M. Dolores Denman Lady 


 1    Justice Award from the Women's Bar Association -- 

 2    and many more, Mr. President, including being 

 3    named to the Bennett High School Alumni Honor 

 4    Roll for Law, a sign of a Western New Yorker who 

 5    continues to make her hometown incredibly proud, 

 6    and a demonstration to the thousands of current 

 7    Buffalo public school students that they can 

 8    achieve great things.

 9                 In fact, not only is Justice 

10    Troutman a product of the Buffalo public schools, 

11    but she earned her undergraduate degree at SUNY 

12    Buffalo, a shining example of the merits of our 

13    public education system.

14                 The Trailblazer Award she received 

15    from the Minority Bar Association of Western 

16    New York was fitting when she received it back in 

17    2019, and it's even more fitting now, as Justice 

18    Troutman will be only the second Black woman to 

19    sit on the Court of Appeals.  It shouldn't have 

20    taken this long.  It shouldn't have taken until 

21    2022.  But I know that Justice Troutman will lead 

22    the way to a much greater diversity on the court 

23    that better reflects our state.

24                 Justice Troutman's commitment to 

25    justice and the rule of law is unquestioned, and 


 1    Western New Yorkers know that she makes her 

 2    rulings with a fair-minded compassion and empathy 

 3    that makes it clear how seriously she takes the 

 4    gravity of her job.  It's something the rest of 

 5    New York State will quickly learn as well.  

 6                 She's a member of the Ethics 

 7    Commission of the United Court System, cochair of 

 8    the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, and 

 9    a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial 

10    Ethics, demonstrating that we are elevating 

11    someone in our state's highest court who is 

12    focused on delivering justice for all.

13                 I think that the great Hazel Dukes 

14    of the New York State Conference of the NAACP put 

15    it best when she said that Justice Troutman, 

16    quote, has lived the experience to ensure she 

17    treats all who come before her with compassion, 

18    dignity and respect.  

19                 It's an incredible honor for me here 

20    today, Mr. President, to stand on this floor to 

21    nominate -- second the nomination of such an 

22    exemplary individual.  

23                 And speaking of exemplary 

24    individuals, I want to thank the great Appellate 

25    Court Justice Gene Fahey for his outstanding 


 1    service to our state, and we wish him the best as 

 2    he begins the next chapter in his life.

 3                 To Justice Troutman, her husband 

 4    Kenneth, her son Stephen and daughter Lauren, 

 5    congratulations on a well-deserved and -earned 

 6    appointment.  And we know that you will continue 

 7    to make your hometown and all of New York State 

 8    proud with your work.  Congratulations.

 9                 Thank you, Mr. President.  I'll be 

10    voting aye on the floor today.

11                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

12    Ryan on the nomination.

13                 SENATOR RYAN:   Thank you, 

14    Mr. President.  

15                 So Judge Troutman is a Buffalo 

16    success story.  She's one of six in her family.  

17    She was born in Georgia.  Her family joined the 

18    great migration and moved from Georgia to Buffalo 

19    to participate in our booming industrial economy.

20                 In Buffalo when people say "Where 

21    did you go to school," they don't mean college, 

22    they mean high school.  And Judge Troutman is a 

23    proud graduate of Bennett High School.  She's a 

24    Tiger through and through.  She went to UB 

25    undergraduate, Albany Law School.  


 1                 These are all really good things, 

 2    and there's many things that make Judge Troutman 

 3    uniquely qualified to be on the Court of Appeals.  

 4    Six years in the Appellate Division.  Served on 

 5    the Supreme Court.  Served on the Erie County 

 6    Court.  Buffalo City Court judge.  

 7                 But I think of all the great 

 8    attributes that this candidate has, 

 9    Mr. President, her time in the Buffalo City Court 

10    is what I believe makes her uniquely qualified to 

11    be on the Court of Appeals.  And her time there 

12    gives you a glimpse, gives you a strong idea of 

13    the type of justice she will be on the Court of 

14    Appeals.

15                 You know, many lawyers view city 

16    court as a low-stakes court.  Now, while it might 

17    be for lawyers, it's not for the people who are 

18    appearing in front of that court.  Buffalo City 

19    Court, it's a people's court.  Often it's the 

20    only court people ever see, their only 

21    interaction with the judiciary.  It's where 

22    neighbors settle disputes.  It's where landlords 

23    and tenants go.  Low-level criminal cases.  It's  

24    a court often of down-faced young people and 

25    really angry parents.  It's a high-volume, often 


 1    chaotic place.  

 2                 And it was there that I first met 

 3    Judge Troutman.  I appeared in front of her 

 4    representing indigent defendants dozens and 

 5    dozens of times.  These people were having the 

 6    worst day of their lives.  And in that court, 

 7    Judge Troutman somehow slowed things down for 

 8    people.  She somehow reduced the chaos.  And she 

 9    treated each defendant with respect.  She 

10    carefully explained everyone's rights, how the 

11    process was going to work, and she kept that 

12    level of respect throughout the entire process.

13                 So that's who Judge Troutman is as a 

14    person, and that's how she is as a jurist.  And I 

15    am confident that she is going to be a tremendous 

16    asset to the Court of Appeals.  

17                 I thank Justice Gene Fahey for his 

18    wonderful career in public service.  And if you 

19    can believe this, being on the Court of Appeals 

20    was just one chapter of Judge Fahey's public 

21    service.  

22                 I thank the Judiciary chair, Brad 

23    Hoylman, and Leader Stewart-Cousins for bringing 

24    this nominee through the process and to the floor 

25    today.  


 1                 To Judge Troutman's husband Kenneth, 

 2    to her son Stephen and daughter Lauren, who are 

 3    with us today in the mezzanine, I say 

 4    congratulations.  

 5                 And to Judge Troutman, I say to you 

 6    the people of Buffalo are proud of you today, and 

 7    I look forward to casting my vote in the 

 8    affirmative.

 9                 Thank you, Mr. President.

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

11    Lanza on the nomination.

12                 SENATOR LANZA:   Thank you, 

13    Mr. President.  

14                 First, I want to commend the 

15    Governor on this outstanding nomination, and I 

16    want to thank Senator Hoylman for moving this 

17    nomination to the floor today.

18                 I want to briefly say, from one 

19    former assistant district attorney to another, it 

20    is a distinct privilege and honor to add my voice 

21    of support for this nomination.

22                 You know, Justice Troutman's entire 

23    career has been characterized by intelligence, 

24    compassion, and commonsense.  And she possesses 

25    an unrivaled grasp of the law.  She's eminently 


 1    qualified, that is beyond a doubt.  

 2                 I want to thank you, Justice 

 3    Troutman, for taking on this challenge, for 

 4    saying yes, for taking this job.  It's an awesome 

 5    responsibility.  There are tremendous sacrifices 

 6    to you and to your family.  But I want to say, on 

 7    the behalf of the people of the State of New 

 8    York, that we are so blessed and fortunate that 

 9    you are saying yes.  

10                 You know, most people in the State 

11    of New York really don't know what happens in the 

12    Court of Appeals.  And that's okay.  But when you 

13    find yourself before that court, it is probably 

14    the most consequential moment in your life.  And 

15    I know that every litigant and every citizen of 

16    the State of New York will be in good hands with 

17    you on that bench.

18                 So thank you.  When the time comes, 

19    Madam President, I will be voting in the 

20    affirmative.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

22    Bailey on the nomination.  

23                 SENATOR BAILEY:   Thank you, 

24    Madam President.  

25                 The only bad news is that she 


 1    goes -- the honorable -- she goes from "Justice" 

 2    to "Judge."  But if you're Shirley Troutman, if 

 3    you're somebody like her, you know titles don't 

 4    matter.  And if -- the reason why you're in this 

 5    position, Your Honor, is because titles don't 

 6    matter to you; the work does.

 7                 It is an incredibly fulfilling day 

 8    for me, as a person of color -- as an attorney of 

 9    color who has been in courtrooms and seen the 

10    lack of diversity, who has experienced the lack 

11    of diversity -- to see that we are finally, in 

12    the State of New York, amending some of the 

13    things that have been so wrong with our justice 

14    system and our judicial system for so long.

15                 Your Honor, you represent what is 

16    great about our justice system:  Diversity of 

17    thought, diversity of practice, diversity of 

18    experience.  Not just you and diversity, but the 

19    diversity in the work that you have done 

20    throughout your storied legal career.  It is no 

21    mistake why you're here.  It's because of hard 

22    work, dedication, diligence, understanding, and 

23    an unrivaled legal acumen -- the reason why 

24    you're here.

25                 But what you represent is far 


 1    greater.  What you represent as only the second 

 2    Black woman to ascend to our state's highest 

 3    court is something that will resonate not just in 

 4    my mind, but in the minds of young women and men 

 5    of color, to see that when you're up there, that 

 6    they can do that too.

 7                 Representation matters.  It matters 

 8    to see people like you in these positions, in 

 9    decision-making positions, in positions of 

10    authority that few if any have ascended to.  Your 

11    ascension to this position comes with, I would 

12    say -- I don't want to say a heavy burden, 

13    Your Honor.  But I want you to know that my two 

14    daughters are going to be watching.  And that 

15    daughters and sons throughout this state, Black, 

16    brown, Asian and white, no matter who they are, 

17    they're going to be watching, because of what you 

18    represent up here.

19                 Again, it's one of these moments in 

20    this chamber that we get to come together as 

21    Democrats and Republicans and those who respect 

22    the court system and what judges do, and we get 

23    to unite around a common -- not just good, a 

24    common great.  And that great is you, Your Honor.

25                 My grandparents also did that great 


 1    migration with my family.  Not from Georgia, from 

 2    Johnson county, North Carolina.  And seeing the 

 3    possible is something that was always what my 

 4    grandparents wanted my father and his brothers 

 5    and sisters to do.  And you, you are that 

 6    possible.  The only bad thing -- the second bad 

 7    thing is that you're not from the Bronx.  That 

 8    would have made this even better.  

 9                 But you know, Tim Kennedy and Sean 

10    Ryan and our Western New York delegation, they 

11    get to have a great one in this.  And the 

12    Governor has made an excellent choice here.

13                 Madam President, I will be voting 

14    aye on this nomination when the time is coming.  

15    And Your Honor, I am so pleased that you will be 

16    sitting on our state's highest court.

17                 Congratulations.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT PERSAUD:   Senator 

19    Boyle on the nomination.

20                 SENATOR BOYLE:   Thank you, 

21    Madam President.  

22                 I rise, as the ranking Minority 

23    member on the Judiciary Committee, to stand in 

24    strong support of Justice Troutman's nomination 

25    to the Court of Appeals.  I congratulate the 


 1    Governor on nominating this outstanding nominee.  

 2                 I'd also like to associate myself 

 3    with our distinguished chairman Brad Hoylman's 

 4    remarks about Judge Fahey, thank him for his 

 5    service, and agree that age discrimination is 

 6    rampant in this situation, where you can be 

 7    President of the United States in your seventies 

 8    and eighties, but not a judge in the State of 

 9    New York.  And I look forward to working to 

10    change that with you as well.

11                 I won't reiterate everything that's 

12    been -- the wonderful remarks about Justice 

13    Troutman and her outstanding background.  She's a 

14    person of intelligence and integrity.  I've 

15    looked at her bio, and I studied, matriculated at 

16    Albany Law School at the same time.  She's a lot 

17    smarter than I am, and that's why I'm glad she's 

18    ascending to this high position and I'm right 

19    here with you folks.  

20                 I think that as a former prosecutor, 

21    the minority party is really impressed and 

22    hopeful.  We have some big issues in criminal 

23    justice reform, as we know.  Some big cases will 

24    be coming up to the Court of Appeals.  I know 

25    that as a former prosecutor, then-Judge Troutman 


 1    will be able to look at not only the rights of 

 2    the accused, but the rights of the citizenry of 

 3    New York State to feel safe, as she reviews our 

 4    laws.

 5                 I'll end simply by saying that I 

 6    believe we had a unanimous bipartisan vote in the 

 7    Judiciary Committee for Shirley Troutman.  That 

 8    says a lot about the way we all feel about the 

 9    type of nominee she is.  I believe 2022 is going 

10    to be a great year for Buffalo, as the Bills win 

11    the Super Bowl.  But for me as a Jets fan, I'm 

12    happier that Justice Troutman is about to become 

13    Judge Troutman.

14                 I'm going to support her.

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

16    Jackson on the nomination.  

17                 SENATOR JACKSON:   Thank you, 

18    Mr. President.  

19                 Good afternoon, my colleagues and to 

20    all of the guests here today.  I rise to explain 

21    my support for the nomination of Justice Shirley 

22    Troutman to the Court of Appeals.

23                 First let me congratulate the 

24    Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and all 

25    of the staff, along with the Judiciary chair, 


 1    Brad Hoylman, for moving this process of 

 2    confirming the nomination of Justice Troutman 

 3    along with such civility.  

 4                 And I also want to commend our 

 5    Governor, Kathy Hochul, and this superb choice in 

 6    nominating Justice Shirley Troutman to the 

 7    Court of Appeals.

 8                 The decision concerning Justice 

 9    Troutman's nomination was easy for me to make.  

10    As some of you may know, Justice Troutman was 

11    deemed highly qualified by several bar 

12    associations and has a long, distinguished career 

13    on the bench.  She has invaluable experience as a 

14    prosecutor, trial court judge, and appellate 

15    justice.  

16                 Her resume speaks loudly to her 

17    qualifications that she has.  Before joining the 

18    court at the Appellate Division Fourth 

19    Department, she was a justice for the Erie County 

20    Supreme Court in the 8th Judicial District, a 

21    Buffalo City Court judge, an assistant 

22    United States attorney for the Western District 

23    of New York, an assistant state attorney general, 

24    and an assistant district attorney in 

25    Erie County.


 1                 Given that background, I am happy to 

 2    vote for Justice Troutman based on her resume and 

 3    professional conduct.  Justice Troutman has 

 4    proven to have strong concerns for taking due 

 5    process seriously.  And moreover, she is a true 

 6    champion for justice, diversity, and inclusion.

 7                 Her appointment underscores the 

 8    importance of diversity, as she will be the only 

 9    judge of the Court of Appeals from Western 

10    New York.  And if confirmed by this body, the 

11    New York State Senate, she will be the second 

12    Black woman to serve on New York's highest court.  

13    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that 

14    Justice Troutman is qualified to sit on the 

15    highest court in our state.  

16                 Yet we also need to talk about the 

17    need to ensure greater transparency in the 

18    Court of Appeals process.  It is my hope and 

19    belief that going forward we can ensure that 

20    persons appointed to the Court of Appeals will be 

21    given greater scrutiny, given the enormity of the 

22    court.

23                 We must ensure diversity of work 

24    backgrounds by nominating people that have 

25    committed themselves to represent all New 


 1    Yorkers, and especially vulnerable New Yorkers in 

 2    the public defense, housing, immigration, court 

 3    and civil actions.  And we must ensure nominees 

 4    to the court receive individual hearings so that 

 5    there is ample and sufficient time to ask 

 6    pertinent and important questions.  

 7                 We must ensure sufficient time 

 8    between nomination and hearings and confirmation 

 9    on the floor so this body, the New York State 

10    Senate, and Senators and the public may 

11    understand and deliberate the qualifications of 

12    each nominee.

13                 These are some of the reforms needed 

14    to guarantee a more robust and transparent 

15    process for our judiciary.  

16                 I have no doubt that 

17    Justice Troutman will faithfully serve the people 

18    of New York on the Court of Appeals, and 

19    therefore, Mr. President, I vote yes to confirm 

20    Justice Shirley Troutman.

21                 Thank you.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Senator 

23    Ortt on the nomination.

24                 SENATOR ORTT:   Thank you, 

25    Mr. President.


 1                 You know, sometimes the things that 

 2    receive the least attention are the most 

 3    important things that we do in this chamber.  And 

 4    I don't know if there will be front-page stories 

 5    about this confirmation, but I really believe 

 6    that confirming judges, whether it's the highest 

 7    court or any court, is maybe one of the most 

 8    important things that we do from an impact on the 

 9    people of New York.

10                 There will be folks who are in this 

11    chamber for two years, four years, maybe longer, 

12    but these judges will be in their position for 

13    many years, making decisions that have real 

14    impacts on our constituents, on New Yorkers, on 

15    businesses, what have you, for many years -- 

16    maybe decades.

17                 And it's great that we are able 

18    to -- I didn't know -- I don't know Justice 

19    Troutman personally.  I had the privilege to 

20    speak to her yesterday or two days ago.  She was 

21    very generous to be able to call me, and we went 

22    over her qualifications.  And I think that's what 

23    I want to focus on, her qualifications.  

24                 I don't know her.  I don't know that 

25    I ever had the privilege to meet her.  But 


 1    looking over her qualifications, there is no one 

 2    that could argue that she is in any way 

 3    unqualified.  In fact, I have seen few judges in 

 4    my time here that are more qualified or better 

 5    qualified to sit on this court.

 6                 She was a former prosecutor.  That's 

 7    important to me, it's important to a lot of 

 8    folks.  She's been on -- as a prosecutor, of 

 9    course, as an assistant U.S. attorney, she knows 

10    that side of the law.  She understands the role 

11    of protecting the public.  But she's also -- as 

12    has been noted, she's had a ton of experience as 

13    a judge, as a jurist.  

14                 She was put on this path in part by 

15    a former member of this house, then-Senator -- or 

16    once-upon-a-time-Senator, then Mayor Tony 

17    Masiello, someone that I know is familiar with 

18    the Western New York delegation here, someone who 

19    I consider a friend, someone who I know speaks 

20    very highly of Judge Troutman.  

21                 And you see all the Western New York 

22    delegation here today because at the end of the 

23    day we're all kind of homers and we're always 

24    going to stand up for one of our own when that's 

25    warranted.  And in this case it is definitely 


 1    warranted.

 2                 So I think those qualifications 

 3    should speak for themselves.  I know at various 

 4    points with different majorities over the years 

 5    that I've been here, we've had some folks put up 

 6    for the highest court that I wouldn't have 

 7    questioned those qualifications, whether they 

 8    were law professors who had never practiced, 

 9    whether they had only spent one time on one part 

10    or in one aspect of the criminal justice system.  

11    But Judge Troutman -- you would want every judge 

12    that you were ever before to have her background, 

13    to have her grace, her professionalism, and I 

14    think her real commitment to administering the 

15    law in a fair but firm way on behalf of 

16    New Yorkers.  

17                 So I wish you, Judge Troutman, all 

18    the success.  I congratulate you on a very -- a 

19    great day for you and your family, a culmination 

20    of a great career.  

21                 I do want to thank Senator Boyle, 

22    our ranker on Judiciary, along with Senator 

23    Hoylman and all of the members of the Judiciary 

24    Committee for doing their job, which is to 

25    actually vet and ask questions.  And I think 


 1    that's very important, that whoever the Governor 

 2    is and whoever the nominee is, we have a role to 

 3    play.  And I think it's important that the 

 4    Executive always remembers that.  And I thank 

 5    them for their work on behalf of that process.  

 6                 And I will -- to echo Senator 

 7    Boyle's point, I just want everyone to know that 

 8    while I asked her several questions about her 

 9    experience as a judge, as a prosecutor, as -- you 

10    know, what experiences did she think set her up 

11    to be uniquely qualified for this role, I also 

12    asked her who her favorite football team was.

13                 (Laughter.)

14                 SENATOR ORTT:   And -- because she 

15    was from Georgia, so who the heck knows?  You 

16    know, I don't know -- 

17                 (Laughter.)

18                 SENATOR ORTT:   Originally.  

19                 But she did answer, I will tell you, 

20    in a manner that I will just simply say I thought 

21    was befitting a judge on the highest court.  

22    So -- 

23                 (Laughter.)

24                 SENATOR ORTT:   -- that was a 

25    private conversation I don't want to share.  


 1                 But I just want to wish her the best 

 2    of luck.  And I think the people of New York are 

 3    well served in this chamber, It will be a great 

 4    honor for this chamber to move forward her 

 5    nomination to the highest court.

 6                 So, Judge, congratulations.  

 7                 Mr. President, I'll be voting aye.  

 8                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Majority 

 9    Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to close.

10                 SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Thank you 

11    so much, Mr. President.  

12                 What an honor it is to be here, 

13    certainly, in the presence of my Chief Judge and 

14    my Westchester home girl, shall we say.  It is 

15    good that we are here together to celebrate the 

16    ascension of this incredible, incredible woman.

17                 I didn't know Shirley Troutman.  

18    Everybody that -- when the Governor called me and 

19    she said "I have a great nominee, this Black 

20    woman," I said "Wonderful," waiting to meet her 

21    and hear about her.  And then of course my own 

22    Senators, Senator Kennedy, Senator Ryan, could 

23    not say enough wonderful things about her.  My 

24    friend, the Majority Leader in the other side, 

25    Crystal Peoples-Stokes.  And it was just very 


 1    clear that your star had risen to a point that 

 2    few people actually have an opportunity to 

 3    experience.

 4                 And then you show up.  And every 

 5    person you touched, from the staff to the 

 6    members -- in the Judiciary where, you know, the 

 7    incredible Brad Hoylman chairs, guiding that 

 8    process, having the insightful questions and the 

 9    answers, the experiences you shared and what you 

10    exude as a person and a personality.  You are 

11    always a professor, you are always that person 

12    who came up in your community, who fought and 

13    struggled and learned and studied and kept 

14    progressing and kept moving forward.  You never, 

15    ever lost sight of it.  

16                 And you touched and taught everyone.  

17    You inspired people who aren't easily inspired, 

18    because we see a lot, we know a lot, we do a 

19    lot -- and quite honestly, it takes a lot to come 

20    away from an interview feeling like you got 

21    something.

22                 Everyone got something.  And today, 

23    as we put you in a position where you can shine, 

24    we know that you are bringing more than just your 

25    historic presence, you are bringing with you the 


 1    promise of not only what we're going to celebrate 

 2    with Dr. King's birthday, but the promise of a 

 3    future for people who look like you and me and 

 4    everyone else.  That we can indeed, if we handle 

 5    this dream properly, aspire and reach great 

 6    heights.  

 7                 I am so happy that the star of 

 8    Western New York, the star of Buffalo, becomes 

 9    the shining star here in New York.

10                 Congratulations to you and your 

11    family.  I can't wait to see how your presence 

12    will transform so much of our great state.  

13    Congratulations and all the best.  

14                 And of course, Mr. President, I vote 

15    aye.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Thank 

17    you, Madam Leader.

18                 The question is on the nomination.  

19    All those in favor please signify by saying aye.

20                 (Response of "Aye.")

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Opposed, 

22    nay.

23                 (No response.)

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

25    nominee is confirmed.  


 1                 Congratulations.

 2                 (Standing ovation.)

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Announce 

 4    the results.

 5                 THE SECRETARY:   In the negative, 

 6    Senator Brisport.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

 8    nominee is confirmed.

 9                 Senator Gianaris.

10                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

11    Mr. President.

12                 Congratulations to our new judge of 

13    the Court of Appeals.

14                 On behalf of the Majority Leader, 

15    there are hand-ups related to committee changes 

16    for the Majority Conference.  I ask they be filed 

17    with the Journal.

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   The 

19    hand-ups are received and will be filed in the 

20    Journal.

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   Is there 

22    any further business at the desk?

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   There is 

24    no further business at the desk.

25                 SENATOR GIANARIS:   I move to 


 1    adjourn until Tuesday, January 18th, at 

 2    3:00 p.m., with the intervening days being 

 3    legislative days.

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT BAILEY:   On 

 5    motion, the Senate stands adjourned until 

 6    Tuesday, January 18th, at 3:00 p.m., with the 

 7    intervening days being legislative.

 8                 (Whereupon, at 12:07 p.m., the 

 9    Senate adjourned.)