Regular Session - January 04, 2017

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 1                NEW YORK STATE SENATE

 2                          

 3                          

 4               THE STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

 5                          

 6                          

 7                          

 8                          

 9                  ALBANY, NEW YORK

10                   January 4, 2017

11                     12:26 p.m.

12                          

13                          

14                   REGULAR SESSION

15  

16  

17  

18  LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR KATHLEEN C. HOCHUL, President

19  FRANCIS W. PATIENCE, Secretary

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  


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

 2                THE PRESIDENT:   The Senate will 

 3   come to order.

 4                I ask everyone present to please 

 5   rise and repeat with me the Pledge of Allegiance.

 6                (Whereupon, the assemblage recited 

 7   the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.)

 8                THE PRESIDENT:   Rabbi Shmuel 

 9   Zuckerman is with us today to give us the 

10   invocation.  He is the Rabbi of Young Israel of 

11   Pelham Parkway Jewish Center in the Bronx.

12                Rabbi?

13                RABBI ZUCKERMAN:   Good morning.  

14   I'd like to begin with an invocation, but I'd 

15   first like to affirm the presence of God already 

16   in this room.  

17                I'm standing in the presence of men 

18   and women who are committed to serving and caring 

19   for other human beings, for the people of the 

20   State of New York.  And there is very little 

21   that's more ennobling and more dignified than 

22   that.  

23                In that vein, I'd like to bless you 

24   all.  I'd like to bless you with wisdom, I'd like 

25   to bless you with compassion, and I'd like to 


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 1   bless you with inspiration.  

 2                I'd like to bless you with wisdom to 

 3   understand the needs of the people of the State 

 4   of New York and, with wisdom, to craft 

 5   legislation to meet those needs.  

 6                I'd like to bless you with 

 7   compassion, compassion to understand, to 

 8   appreciate, to genuinely feel the needs of some 

 9   of the weakest and most vulnerable members of 

10   society, and to help them to find creative ways 

11   to help them care for their own needs.  

12                And finally, I'd like to bless you 

13   with inspiration -- inspiration to appreciate 

14   that your role here today and every day, both 

15   here and in your district, is not just a 

16   responsibility and a job, but is a sacred duty.  

17   Indeed, it's very inspiring.  

18                I'd like to bless each and every one 

19   of you, and as a group.  I'd like to bless your 

20   families, each of you with long life, with 

21   prosperity, with success, with good health, 

22   today, for the rest of the year, and forever.  

23                And let us say amen.

24                (Response of "Amen.")

25                THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you, Rabbi, 


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 1   for those inspiring words.  

 2                The chair now hands down a message 

 3   from the State Board of Elections, being the duly 

 4   official certification of the members of the 

 5   Senate, and directs the same be filed.  So 

 6   ordered.  

 7                I'd now like to ask if there's any 

 8   Senators present who have not taken their oaths 

 9   of office, to please rise.

10                (No response.)

11                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

12   call the roll to ascertain that a quorum exists.

13                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Addabbo.

14                SENATOR ADDABBO:   Here.

15                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Akshar.

16                SENATOR AKSHAR:   Here.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Alcantara.

18                SENATOR ALCANTARA:   Here.

19                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Amedore.

20                SENATOR AMEDORE:   Here.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Avella.

22                SENATOR AVELLA:   Here.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Bailey.

24                SENATOR BAILEY:   Here.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Bonacic.  


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 1                SENATOR BONACIC:   Here.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Boyle.  

 3                (No response.)

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Breslin.

 5                (No response.)

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Brooks.

 7                SENATOR BROOKS:   Here.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Carlucci.

 9                SENATOR CARLUCCI:   Present.

10                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Comrie.

11                SENATOR COMRIE:   Present.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Croci.

13                SENATOR CROCI:   Here.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Senator 

15   DeFrancisco.

16                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Here.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Díaz.

18                SENATOR DÍAZ:   Present.

19                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Dilan.

20                SENATOR DILAN:   Present.

21                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Felder.

22                SENATOR FELDER:   Here.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Flanagan.

24                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Here.

25                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Funke.


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 1                SENATOR FUNKE:   Here.

 2                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gallivan.

 3                SENATOR GALLIVAN:   Here.

 4                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Gianaris.

 5                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Here.

 6                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Golden.

 7                SENATOR GOLDEN:   Here.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Griffo.

 9                SENATOR GRIFFO:   Here.

10                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Hamilton.

11                SENATOR HAMILTON:   Present.

12                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Hannon.

13                SENATOR HANNON:   Here.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Helming.

15                SENATOR HELMING:   Here.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Hoylman.

17                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Here.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Jacobs.

19                SENATOR JACOBS:   Here.

20                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kaminsky.

21                SENATOR KAMINSKY:   Here.

22                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Kennedy.

23                SENATOR KENNEDY:   Here.

24                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Klein.

25                SENATOR KLEIN:   Here.


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 1                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Krueger.

 2                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Present.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Lanza.

 4                SENATOR LANZA:   Here.

 5                THE SECRETARY:   Senator Larkin.

 6                SENATOR LARKIN:   Here.   

 7                THE PRESIDENT:   A quorum is 

 8   present.  

 9                I'm honored to welcome all of you to 

10   the 240th session of the Senate, especially our 

11   newest members and their families, on this 

12   incredibly proud day for all of you.  I'm 

13   grateful to have been given the courtesy to 

14   extend a few remarks with all of you as we begin 

15   this new session.  

16                Sitting in these seats we have 

17   members who have served with distinction, some 

18   for years; in fact, some for decades.  And 

19   recently I was swapping stories with one of the 

20   members about a former colleague of yours, 

21   Senator Dale Volker, from my home area.  

22                Dale was a conservative Republican 

23   from rural upstate New York, but what was unique 

24   about him was the camaraderie, the friendship, 

25   and the spirit of teamwork that he developed with 


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 1   another colleague, Deputy Speaker Arthur Eve from 

 2   the Assembly, at the time.  Arthur was a staunch 

 3   Democrat representing the most underserved 

 4   high-need areas of the City of Buffalo.  

 5                Together, they were an amazing 

 6   force.  Among their many collaborations, they 

 7   fought together to help make sure that students 

 8   in underserved communities like Buffalo had a 

 9   shot.  For them, there were no party lines, no 

10   geographic lines, no racial lines that they were 

11   not willing to cross to help improve the lives of 

12   others.  

13                I thought of their legacy of service 

14   as we open today and look at the new members, 

15   seven new members in this chamber:  Elaine 

16   Phillips, from the 7th; John Brooks, from the 

17   8th; Marisol Alcantara, from the 31st; Jamaal 

18   Bailey, from the 36th; James Tedisco, from the 

19   49th; Pam Helming, from the 54th; and my own 

20   Senator, Chris Jacobs, from the 60th.  

21                We can all learn from each other.  

22   Veterans can look to the newcomers for that sense 

23   of awe and inspiration, and the newcomers can 

24   look to veterans for the incredible respect they 

25   have for this institution.  Regardless of where 


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 1   they call home, we know we have to do the work of 

 2   the people.  

 3                And I'll digress for just a moment 

 4   to tell you on Monday I was having breakfast in 

 5   one of my favorite diners, in a place called 

 6   Lackawanna, a gritty steel town that rose and 

 7   fell with the fortunes of the steel industry.  

 8   Tim Kennedy knows it well.  

 9                I sat there and I looked in the 

10   faces of the patrons, a reminder of the people 

11   who look at all of us and ask us to never forget 

12   their challenges -- that they have rent payments 

13   to make, mortgages to keep, families to feed, 

14   children to pay for college, and aging parents.  

15   But what inspired me was their resiliency, their 

16   willingness to get up every single day and do 

17   their work, just as they expect all of us to do.  

18   And all they ask of us is to just have their 

19   backs and to be on their side.  

20                And that is why I have been so proud 

21   to travel the state carrying the Governor's 

22   message of how together we're rebuilding the 

23   economy and creating jobs, particularly in 

24   hard-hit areas like upstate New York, making 

25   infrastructure investments, the biggest in our 


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 1   history, creating thousands more jobs in the 

 2   process, and striving to create the best 

 3   educational opportunities all the way through 

 4   college.  Tackling the heroin crisis head on, as 

 5   we did.  All the while protecting our 

 6   environment.  

 7                And I want to thank all of you, all 

 8   of you who have personally joined me on this 

 9   journey as I have visited you in your districts 

10   and together we have represented this chamber and 

11   this government so well.  

12                And while the stories are endless, 

13   and I won't go on, I also want to remind us that 

14   we embark on the 100th anniversary of women's 

15   right to vote in the State of New York.  And I am 

16   so proud, that's --

17                (Applause.)

18                THE PRESIDENT:   And as we begin 

19   this celebration, let's not just look back, let's 

20   look forward and ask ourselves, What will our 

21   legacy be 100 years from now when people judge 

22   us?  How will we improve the lives of families 

23   and women, helping them assume their place, their 

24   rightful place in the workforce, in boardrooms, 

25   and indeed the corridors of power like before us?  


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 1   Yes, we have much to do.  

 2                And I'll conclude by saying while it 

 3   may seem an eternity away, it won't be long 

 4   before a beautiful spring day, perhaps in June, 

 5   beckons us to leave these chambers.  On that day, 

 6   my question is:  How will we be judged, how will 

 7   this session be judged?  And I'll tell you right 

 8   now, it won't be by political points scored, it 

 9   will be by the points we score for the people of 

10   this state.  And let our scorecards show the jobs 

11   we created, how we gave our kids a first-rate 

12   education, how we protected our environment, and 

13   how we rebuilt our infrastructure.  If we can 

14   establish all that, all New Yorkers will be 

15   winners.  

16                And in the resilient spirit of true 

17   New Yorkers, and in the spirit of statesmen like 

18   Senator Volker and Assemblyman Art Eve, let us 

19   embrace these challenges together.  Let us 

20   continue, through our words and in our deeds, to 

21   let the men and women of the state know indeed we 

22   do have their backs and we are on their side.  

23                Thank you for the privilege of 

24   addressing you today.

25                (Standing ovation.)


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 1                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator 

 2   DeFrancisco.

 3                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, I have a 

 4   resolution at the desk.  But before you read that 

 5   resolution, could you recognize Senator Gianaris.

 6                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Gianaris, 

 7   why do you rise?  

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

 9   Madam President.  There's a substitute resolution 

10   at the desk.  I ask that the reading be waived 

11   and move for its immediate adoption, please.

12                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

13   read.

14                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

15   Number 2, by Senator Gianaris, providing for the 

16   election of Andrea Stewart-Cousins as Temporary 

17   President and Majority Leader of the Senate for 

18   2017-2018.

19                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Gianaris.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you, 

21   Madam President.  

22                My colleagues, first of all, Happy 

23   New Year to everyone.  It's good to see everyone 

24   back here in the Senate chamber.  And welcome to 

25   our new colleagues.  


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 1                Being a legislative leader is not 

 2   easy.  And I'm sure Senator Flanagan can attest 

 3   that being a legislative leader in Albany is 

 4   particularly challenging.  But we have, in the 

 5   Democratic Conference, the pride of our 

 6   conference is our leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins.  

 7   She has done a tremendous job over the last four 

 8   years leading us -- leading us with dignity, with 

 9   grace, and with integrity, and doing so under 

10   very difficult and challenging circumstances.  

11   And getting things done, from a point where it's 

12   not always easy to get things done.  

13                Everybody knows -- well, I shouldn't 

14   say everybody.  We certainly all know the 

15   complicated politics of the State Senate.  It 

16   takes a while to describe it to others.  But in 

17   that context, to be able to advance an agenda 

18   that sees results.  We all talk about how proud 

19   we are -- on this side of the aisle, anyway -- of 

20   the minimum wage hike that just went into effect, 

21   of the paid family leave law that just went into 

22   effect.  And there are many people who can take 

23   credit for it in this chamber, and they all 

24   deserve it.  But in my opinion, none more so than 

25   the leader of our conference and our members who 


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 1   have been pushing these issues for many years.  

 2   And to do so while sitting on this side of the 

 3   aisle instead of on that side of the aisle is 

 4   quite an achievement.  

 5                I'm incredibly proud of the great 

 6   work she has done and the leadership she has 

 7   provided.  And I would ask my colleagues to 

 8   consider making history today.  She already has 

 9   done so by being the first female legislative 

10   leader in the history of New York State in either 

11   chamber.  Today we have the opportunity to make 

12   the first female majority leader in the history 

13   of either chamber in this state.  

14                And so with great honor, as I've 

15   served alongside her and served under her 

16   distinguished leadership, I submit to my 

17   colleagues that we all vote to make Andrea 

18   Stewart-Cousins the next president of the Senate 

19   and majority leader.  Thank you.

20                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

21   the substitute resolution offered by Senator 

22   Gianaris.  All those in favor signify by saying 

23   aye.

24                (Response of "Aye.")

25                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?


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 1                (Response of "Nay.")

 2                THE PRESIDENT:   The nays have it.  

 3   The resolution is defeated.

 4                SENATOR VALESKY:   Madam President.

 5                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Valesky, 

 6   why do you rise?

 7                SENATOR VALESKY:   I believe there's 

 8   another substitute resolution at the desk.  I ask 

 9   that the reading of the resolution be waived and 

10   have the opportunity to speak briefly on it.

11                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

12   read the substitute resolution.  

13                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

14   Number 3, by Senator Valesky, providing for the 

15   election of Jeffrey D. Klein as Temporary 

16   President and Majority Leader of the Senate for 

17   2017-2018.

18                SENATOR VALESKY:   Madam President, 

19   today Senator Jeff Klein joins us here in the 

20   State Capitol for the 23rd time in his 

21   legislative career to begin a legislative 

22   session -- 10 in the New York State Assembly and 

23   the last 13 in the State Senate.  He represents 

24   the 34th District, in the Bronx and 

25   Westchester County, and represents that district 


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 1   remarkably well.  

 2                But I think most importantly for me 

 3   and for many of my colleagues in the Independent 

 4   Democratic Conference, he begins his seventh 

 5   session today as the leader of the Independent 

 6   Democratic Conference.  

 7                You know, and not so long ago we go 

 8   back to those days, to that time, when Senator 

 9   Klein, under his leadership, not only recognized 

10   that Albany needed a new way of doing business, 

11   but he had a plan to accomplish that -- something 

12   unheard-of before, an independent conference 

13   consistent, in our case, with the principles and 

14   values of the Democratic Party, yet understanding 

15   that the people of the State of New York, the 

16   19½ million people of the State of New York, 

17   needed bipartisan solutions to problems that for 

18   many, many years were not receiving solutions at 

19   all.  

20                And so he began that journey, and we 

21   began the journey with him.  And it has been a 

22   journey of tremendous accomplishment.  Senator 

23   Klein -- I've said on this floor before, I've 

24   never met a harder-working Senator.  And let me 

25   give you an example of what I mean.  


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 1                Only a few days after the conclusion 

 2   of the 2016 session, Senator Klein joined myself 

 3   and Governor Cuomo in Syracuse for a ceremonial 

 4   bill signing of one of his signature 

 5   accomplishments earlier this year, the zombie 

 6   property legislation.  And on a day that 

 7   certainly was one of a great celebration for the 

 8   people of the State of New York, many of whom who 

 9   have been so impacted by the mortgage crisis, you 

10   would think that that would be a triumphant 

11   moment for Senator Klein.  And instead, he 

12   immediately began speaking with me about what 

13   more could be done, what more needed to be done.  

14   And I knew back then six months ago that he was 

15   already beginning to formulate a legislative 

16   agenda for the 2017 session.  

17                Always more that can be done, always 

18   working not only on behalf of the people of the 

19   34th Senate District but on behalf of each and 

20   every New Yorker across the State of New York.

21                And that's why today, Madam 

22   President, I am proud once again to stand here 

23   and offer this resolution that, if adopted, would 

24   elect Senator Jeff Klein the Temporary President 

25   of the New York State Senate.  


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 1                Thank you.

 2                THE PRESIDENT:   On the substitute 

 3   resolution offered by Senator Valesky, all in 

 4   favor signify by saying aye.

 5                (Response of "Aye.")

 6                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?  

 7                (Response of "Nay.")

 8                THE PRESIDENT:   The nays have it.  

 9   The resolution is defeated.

10                Senator DeFrancisco.

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, can we 

12   go back to Resolution Number 1 and have it read, 

13   please, and I move its immediate adoption.

14                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

15   read.

16                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

17   Number 1, by Senator DeFrancisco, providing for 

18   the election of John J. Flanagan as Temporary 

19   President of the Senate for the years 2017-2018.

20                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Madam 

21   President, I move the nomination of John Flanagan 

22   for Temporary President of the New York State 

23   Senate.  

24                Just so Senator Gianaris doesn't 

25   feel too bad, we're going to make history today 


                                                               19

 1   anyway.  And the reason we're going to make 

 2   history today is that we're going to elect a 

 3   leader who was instrumental in bringing in the 

 4   most women of any of the three conferences in the 

 5   New York State Senate this year.  And that's an 

 6   accomplishment.

 7                (Applause.)

 8                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   But he's also 

 9   brought to the New York State Senate a brand of 

10   leadership that is probably more open than I've 

11   ever experienced in my 24 years here.  In fact, 

12   during these last six weeks since the election, 

13   he's called me more times than I've talked to my 

14   wife.  

15                (Laughter.)

16                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   And we've 

17   discussed issue after issue.  And the issues 

18   seemed to get more and more complex as the time 

19   went on.  But he had the patience of Job.  I'll 

20   tell you, he was willing to listen, willing to 

21   listen to everyone here on the Republican side, 

22   and I'm sure with the Independent Conference as 

23   well -- and probably even some of the Democrat 

24   Conference -- to try to come to a resolution on 

25   some very difficult issues before session began.  


                                                               20

 1   Well, it couldn't happen for many reasons, but 

 2   certainly not because of the lack of effort by 

 3   John Flanagan.  

 4                But we have another session, and 

 5   that's what we're starting today.  And this open, 

 6   cordial leadership is really what the Senate 

 7   needs.  And the Legislature needs the same thing, 

 8   both houses of the Legislature, so that we can 

 9   act like a separately elected body that has 

10   checks and balances over the other bodies in 

11   state government.  

12                And I'm sure that's going to be 

13   done.  That's why I proudly nominate John 

14   Flanagan as Temporary President of the New York 

15   State Senate.

16                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

17   the resolution.  All those in favor signify by 

18   saying aye.

19                (Response of "Aye.")

20                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?

21                (Response of "Nay.")

22                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Show of hands, 

23   Madam President.

24                THE PRESIDENT:   So ordered.

25                (A show of hands in the chamber.)


                                                               21

 1                THE PRESIDENT:   Announce the 

 2   results.

 3                THE SECRETARY:   Ayes, 32.

 4                THE PRESIDENT:   The ayes have it.  

 5   The resolution is adopted.

 6                (Standing ovation.)

 7                THE PRESIDENT:   I now call on 

 8   Senator John Flanagan to come forward to be sworn 

 9   in as Temporary President of the Senate by 

10   Secretary of the Senate Frank Patience, and 

11   joined by your family.  

12                MR. PATIENCE:  Senator?  I do 

13   solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of the 

14   United States --

15                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   I do solemnly 

16   swear to uphold the Constitution of the United 

17   States --

18                MR. PATIENCE:   -- and the 

19   Constitution of the State of New York --

20                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- and the 

21   Constitution of the State of New York --

22                MR. PATIENCE:   -- and I will 

23   faithfully discharge the duties --

24                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- and I will 

25   faithfully discharge the duties --


                                                               22

 1                MR. PATIENCE:   -- of Senate 

 2   Majority Leader and Temporary President --

 3                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- of Senate 

 4   Majority Leader and Temporary President --

 5                MR. PATIENCE:   -- of the New York 

 6   State Senate --

 7                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- of the New 

 8   York State Senate --

 9                MR. PATIENCE:   -- according to the 

10   best of my ability -- 

11                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- according to 

12   the best of my ability --

13                MR. PATIENCE:   -- so help me God.

14                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- so help me 

15   God.

16                (Standing ovation.)

17                THE PRESIDENT:   Congratulations, 

18   Senator Flanagan.  

19                Senator DeFrancisco.

20                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Madam 

21   President, there's a resolution at the desk 

22   adopting the rules of the Senate.  Could we have 

23   that resolution taken up at this time.

24                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

25   read.


                                                               23

 1                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 2   Number 4, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, to 

 3   adopt the rules of the Senate for the years 

 4   2017-2018.

 5                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Gianaris, 

 6   why do you rise?

 7                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I would like the 

 8   sponsor or whoever is appropriate to yield for a 

 9   few questions about the rules, please.

10                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

11                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Gianaris.

12                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.

13                I have a question, there's a section 

14   of these rules that appears new, and I'd just 

15   like some clarification.  In Rule Number 8, 

16   Section 3 lays out the responsibilities of the 

17   Ethics and Internal Governance Committee.  I 

18   wonder if Senator DeFrancisco can describe what 

19   the changes are in that section from the existing 

20   functions of the Ethics Committee in the Senate.

21                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   No, I won't.  

22                But I'm going to call on 

23   Senator Croci, who was instrumental in the 

24   legislation last year that this rule mirrors.  

25                Senator Croci.


                                                               24

 1                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Croci.

 2                SENATOR CROCI:   Thank you, Madam 

 3   President.  

 4                The rules, the changes that have 

 5   been proposed seek to clarify the functions of 

 6   the committee.  There was some confusion last 

 7   year about the role of our committee and that of 

 8   the committee in the Assembly.  So what we're 

 9   trying to do is to create parity with our 

10   Assembly chamber and to make sure that in this 

11   house, in the Assembly, but in our state 

12   government, some things -- as I'm sure the 

13   Senator would agree -- should transcend politics.  

14   And the institutions of our government, the 

15   legitimacy of the institutions of our government 

16   and the people who serve in that government 

17   should be reflected in the rules of not only the 

18   committee, but in the houses.

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

20                Would Senator Croci continue to 

21   yield?  

22                SENATOR CROCI:   I will yield for a 

23   question.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

25                Senator Croci and I had a dialogue 


                                                               25

 1   last session about this very issue, so I'm 

 2   pleased to see that some clarification is coming 

 3   forward.  And I couldn't agree with him more that 

 4   the issue of ethics scrutiny in particular should 

 5   be above politics and applied fairly and equally 

 6   to all.

 7                I also heard him say that the model 

 8   of this structure was to some degree based on the 

 9   Assembly, to bring parity between how the two 

10   houses deal with this issue.  

11                So I guess the main question I have 

12   is I'm concerned, in this language, that there's 

13   a very big difference between what's in our 

14   proposed rules and what the Assembly does as it 

15   relates to the composition of the body.  Ethics 

16   committees have always, for the very reason of 

17   taking them out of politics, had an equal 

18   representation from the majority and the minority 

19   in both houses.  That's how the Assembly does it.  

20   In fact, I have the Assembly rules here, and it 

21   explicitly says "The Ethics and Guidance 

22   Committee shall consist of an equal number of 

23   majority and minority members."  

24                Yet in these proposed rules, it 

25   talks about an equal number of members from both 


                                                               26

 1   political parties.  And as we know, the Majority 

 2   Coalition has members of the Democratic Party.  

 3                So I'm curious what the intention or 

 4   the purpose of those words were.  Will the 

 5   Minority Leader, the recently reelected Andrea 

 6   Stewart-Cousins, get to appoint an equal number 

 7   of members as the Majority Coalition, or is the 

 8   language somehow structured in a way to create an 

 9   unfair imbalance in this important committee?  

10                SENATOR CROCI:   Through you, Madam 

11   President.  The proposed question changes 

12   reflect, I think, this body, which is very much a 

13   New York institution.  We in this body, those who 

14   serve, consider ourselves I think Americans 

15   first, New Yorkers second, and everything else 

16   third, including party.  I think we've done a 

17   good job of showing the state that.

18                The proposed structure shows an 

19   equal representation by both Republicans and 

20   Democrats.  So that there is an equal number, 

21   it's an eight-member panel, and there will be 

22   four from each party.  That is, I believe, and 

23   the constructing assistants who helped construct 

24   this, I think we believe that that is the best 

25   way to ensure fairness and to remove any 


                                                               27

 1   political injects in this system.  It's best to 

 2   have an equal representation from both parties.  

 3                In fact, we have in our conference, 

 4   very proudly, a member who bears your party's 

 5   designation.

 6                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Exactly.

 7                SENATOR CROCI:   And I believe you 

 8   have a newly elected member who was just recently 

 9   from our party's designation.  So the best and 

10   most fair way is to ensure that the leadership 

11   has discretion to work together to achieve a 

12   consensus.  

13                And again, when we're dealing with 

14   ethics, Madam President, it should be something 

15   that we can discuss in transcendency from our 

16   political parities but also in a way that builds 

17   consensus on very important issues.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Madam President, 

19   would Senator Croci continue to yield?  

20                SENATOR CROCI:   I will yield for a 

21   question.

22                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the Senator 

23   yield?

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I guess I'll 

25   revisit my question and put it a different way.  


                                                               28

 1   Because we are trying to remove this from 

 2   politics, and everyone who pays attention knows 

 3   that the politics of the State senate run 

 4   majority versus minority, not necessarily 

 5   Democrat versus Republican.  

 6                So why is there an imbalance in the 

 7   appointments, if that is the case?  I'm asking 

 8   for clarification as to who gets to make these 

 9   appointments, and I haven't gotten that answer 

10   yet.  But why was the words changed from the 

11   Assembly rules, which you suggested were what we 

12   were trying to achieve parity with, where they 

13   specifically say an equal number of majority and 

14   minority members, and somehow in the drafting 

15   process it now says an equal number from each 

16   party?  And as you pointed out, you have members 

17   of our party that sit on your side; you have 

18   other members of your Majority Coalition that are 

19   Democrats.  

20                So I'm just trying to make sure this 

21   doesn't end up being some kind of way to create 

22   an imbalance over a particular subject area where 

23   there has always been great care to make sure 

24   that majority and minority have equal 

25   representation, exactly so that no political 


                                                               29

 1   shenanigans could take place in the context of 

 2   that committee.  Yet you have deviated from what 

 3   the Assembly has done over the years.  And I'm 

 4   asking, who gets to make these appointments and 

 5   why was it distinct from how the Assembly treats 

 6   this?  

 7                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, 

 8   through you.  The point I made with regard to the 

 9   parity we seek to achieve with the Assembly 

10   structure is in the clarification of roles and 

11   functions.  Because indeed there was some 

12   misclarification among members of our own 

13   committee last year, those who had served with 

14   more tenure.

15                What we're talking about is no 

16   deviation from the representation.  So the 

17   proposed rule change does not have a change in 

18   the number of representatives from either side.  

19   So there is no change in that representation.  

20   And any reference to the Assembly structure was 

21   to clarify the roles.  For instance, the 

22   housekeeping and member issues that come up, the 

23   security of the chamber, et cetera.

24                SENATOR GIANARIS:   If the sponsor 

25   would yield for another question.


                                                               30

 1                SENATOR CROCI:   Yes, I yield for a 

 2   question.

 3                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I guess let me 

 4   just boil it down to the simplest way I can ask 

 5   the question.  Who gets to appoint the members of 

 6   the Democratic Party who sit on this committee?  

 7                SENATOR CROCI:   Through you, 

 8   Madam President, that is through consultation by 

 9   the leadership, consultation among the leaders of 

10   the different conferences.

11                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Will Senator 

12   Croci continue to yield.

13                SENATOR CROCI:   I yield for a 

14   question.

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I guess that's a 

16   vague enough answer that I don't quite understand 

17   it.

18                Every other committee in the Senate, 

19   the Minority has a certain amount of members, the 

20   Minority Leader gets to make those appointments, 

21   and we hand them up to the desk.  I don't see 

22   anything in -- I see lots of places in these 

23   proposed rules where there's discussion of 

24   consultation between Majority Coalition leaders.  

25   I don't see anything that indicates how these 


                                                               31

 1   members are going to be appointed to this 

 2   critical committee.

 3                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, 

 4   through you.  There is no change to the 

 5   membership or the way that they're appointed from 

 6   last year's rules, which were approved, I 

 7   believe, with overwhelming support.

 8                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Would Senator 

 9   Croci continue to yield, please?

10                SENATOR CROCI:   I will yield for a 

11   question.  

12                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the Senator 

13   still yield?  

14                SENATOR CROCI:   Yes.

15                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I beg to differ.  

16   There is nowhere in the rules that talk about -- 

17   until this day and this draft -- that talk about 

18   an equal number of members from both major 

19   parties as determined by the State Board of 

20   Elections.  So with respect, I think your 

21   previous answer was just flatly incorrect.  

22                So I ask again, why is this 

23   committee being treated differently?  Why is it a 

24   break from the tradition of both houses going 

25   back as far as anyone can remember?  And who gets 


                                                               32

 1   to make these appointments?  

 2                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, 

 3   through you.  What we sought to do is, again, 

 4   take best practices and mirror that which we have 

 5   implemented in the Legislative Ethics Commission.  

 6                And with regard to who makes the 

 7   determinations on the appointments, that is 

 8   something that has not changed.  So I don't know 

 9   what your reading is, but the same process by 

10   which members of the panel, the committee, are 

11   selected will be the case for the coming rules 

12   changes.

13                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Would Senator 

14   Croci continue to yield.

15                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

16   yield?

17                SENATOR CROCI:   I yield for a 

18   question, yes.

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   As I understood 

20   your answer, since this is not changing the 

21   process of appointing members to these various 

22   committees, am I correct in assuming that the 

23   Democratic Conference leader will get to appoint 

24   the Democratic members to this committee?  

25                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, 


                                                               33

 1   through you, that is a decision that will be made 

 2   in consultation with the leadership of the 

 3   different conferences, which have functioned very 

 4   well together in previous years.  

 5                And it's a change in the number.  

 6   Proportionality, as they do in the Assembly, 

 7   would require -- actually, if we did 

 8   proportionality for your conference, 

 9   Senator Gianaris, that would actually decrease 

10   your membership.  So this -- we sought to do 

11   something that would bring equal representation 

12   among both parties.  That way there is no 

13   partisan injects into this process.

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Would Senator 

15   Croci continue to yield, Madam President?  

16                SENATOR CROCI:   I'll yield for a 

17   question.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

19                The Ethics Committee -- and, you 

20   know, you raised the Assembly as your model in 

21   your previous answer, so you can't use them when 

22   you want to and not when you don't.  

23                Ethics committees have always been 

24   treated differently, regardless of the makeup of 

25   bodies, because of their very sensitive nature 


                                                               34

 1   and the possibility of using an ethics overview 

 2   committee for political reasons.  It has always 

 3   been, and continues to be in the Assembly, an 

 4   equal number of majority and minority members.  

 5   There's twice as many Democrats as Republicans in 

 6   the Assembly.  So if you want to use them as the 

 7   example, that's what I would like to do.  There 

 8   should be an equal number of majority and 

 9   minority members on this committee.

10                And you can't say that, Well, we're 

11   making it equal parties.  You yourself pointed 

12   out that sitting somewhere near you -- I guess 

13   you moved your seats -- but is a registered 

14   member of our party.  So someone who sits with 

15   your conference getting appointed by you as a 

16   Democrat isn't exactly fair.  

17                So I'm asking again, don't you think 

18   the proper way to do this, the way it's been done 

19   traditionally, the way it's done in the 

20   Legislative Ethics Committee, which you also 

21   raised, the way it's done in the Assembly, is an 

22   equal number of members appointed by the majority 

23   and by the minority?  And that's the best way to 

24   prevent political shenanigans from interfering 

25   with the important work of the Ethics Committee.


                                                               35

 1                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, I 

 2   can't speak to what Senator Gianaris would like 

 3   to do, in his opinion.  But I can tell you that 

 4   in this body we have three conferences made up of 

 5   individuals who are of different parties.  Again, 

 6   it is a uniquely New York institution.  And in 

 7   the Assembly they have two conferences, which 

 8   makes it more simplified.

 9                So in this case, having equal 

10   representation, which this rule proposes -- four 

11   Republicans and four Democrats.  I don't know how 

12   you can get more equal than four and four.

13                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Would 

14   Senator Croci continue to yield, Madam President? 

15                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator, will you 

16   yield? 

17                SENATOR CROCI:   For a question, 

18   yes.

19                SENATOR GIANARIS:   I will give an 

20   answer to his question of how it can be made 

21   better, and then I'll move on to another question 

22   because I don't want to belabor this point.

23                But one way it could be made fair is 

24   have all three conferences equally represented 

25   and require a member of each conference to 


                                                               36

 1   participate and approve any action of the 

 2   committee.  That's the way it's done in other 

 3   ethics bodies that we have in this state.  That 

 4   would be a way that would be fair to all and 

 5   prevent one side, for political reasons, seeking 

 6   to highlight and punish one of the other -- of 

 7   either of the other two conferences, for that 

 8   matter.

 9                So this is drafted in a way that is 

10   a dramatic break from tradition and opens the 

11   door to some pretty dangerous stuff in terms of 

12   politicizing what should be an independent ethics 

13   body.  

14                Let me ask one other line of 

15   questioning on this subject.  What exactly would 

16   this ethics and internal governance body have the 

17   power to do?

18                THE PRESIDENT:   Would the Senator 

19   yield for a question?

20                SENATOR CROCI:   Yes, I yield for a 

21   question.  Well, I've yielded for the question, I 

22   guess, so now I'll respond.

23                To look at items that have 

24   traditionally, long before many of us got to this 

25   body, have plagued the reputation of the 


                                                               37

 1   institution itself -- issues of member 

 2   misconduct, specific member misconduct, issues of 

 3   travel expenses and per diem, issues that 

 4   traditionally have been a housekeeping function, 

 5   which the Assembly -- again, I will use the 

 6   reference to the Assembly -- committee does right 

 7   now and does very well.  So it's -- that has 

 8   always been the function of the committee.  

 9                It is not a committee of original 

10   jurisdiction where rules for, say, our historic 

11   pension forfeiture bill, bills that do not come 

12   through -- that went through the Judiciary 

13   Committee and then the Rules Committee.  So it 

14   remains not a committee of original jurisdiction, 

15   but a membership and housekeeping committee which 

16   will also look at not only member conduct but the 

17   security of the chamber as well.

18                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

19                Would Senator Croci continue to 

20   yield?  

21                SENATOR CROCI:   For a question, 

22   yes.

23                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator, will you 

24   continue to yield for a question? 

25                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  


                                                               38

 1                I guess what I'm trying to get at is 

 2   after reviewing the conduct of members that might 

 3   be considered by this committee, what action 

 4   would the committee have the power to do?  Would 

 5   they have the power of sanction?  Would they just 

 6   have the power to refer it to ethics bodies?  

 7   What are we trying to do with this committee once 

 8   it concludes any investigative work?

 9                SENATOR CROCI:   Through you, 

10   Madam President, they would have the ability to 

11   refer that matter to the Legislative Ethics 

12   Commission.

13                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  And 

14   one final question to clarify that, if the 

15   sponsor would yield.

16                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the Senator 

17   yield for a question?

18                SENATOR CROCI:   For a question, 

19   yes.

20                SENATOR GIANARIS:   So just to be 

21   crystal clear, so the committee, after conducting 

22   its business, would have the power to make a 

23   referral to an appropriate body, would not have 

24   the power itself to issue sanctions against 

25   anyone under its --


                                                               39

 1                SENATOR CROCI:   Through you, 

 2   Madam President, that is correct.  As is the case 

 3   with the other legislative body, the Assembly, 

 4   the Legislative Ethics Commission remains the 

 5   appropriate jurisdiction for those kinds of 

 6   actions.

 7                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Okay, thank you.  

 8                And, I'm sorry, I did think of one 

 9   other final question, if the --

10                THE PRESIDENT:   One final question.

11                (Laughter.)

12                SENATOR GIANARIS:   -- Senator Croci 

13   would continue to yield.

14                SENATOR CROCI:   Indeed.  I will 

15   yield for a question.

16                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Just -- the 

17   question, because it's not outlined in these 

18   rules, is how would the committee treat the 

19   confidentiality of matters referred to it?  Is it 

20   presumed confidential?  Is it open to the public?  

21   What exactly would be the process through which 

22   you would investigate any allegations?

23                SENATOR CROCI:   Well, since -- 

24   Madam President, through you.  Since there are no 

25   proposed changes to that, it would remain the 


                                                               40

 1   same as it is.

 2                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Which is what?  

 3   If the Senator would yield.

 4                THE PRESIDENT:   The Senator will 

 5   yield for a question.  

 6                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, 

 7   through you, the confidentiality will be 

 8   maintained and referred to the committees, as it 

 9   is in the Assembly.

10                SENATOR GIANARIS:   So just for 

11   clarification, if the Senator would yield.

12                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the Senator 

13   yield?  

14                SENATOR GIANARIS:   So matters 

15   before the committee -- and the reason I ask is 

16   to say it's how it's been done.  The committee 

17   hasn't actually met in several years, so there is 

18   no real track record here.  

19                The question is, are matters just 

20   presumed confidential when they're before the 

21   committee, or are they available to the public?  

22                SENATOR CROCI:   Madam President, 

23   through you.  As I said, the matters are 

24   confidential.  Once the Legislative Ethics 

25   Commission referral is made, that decision to 


                                                               41

 1   make a referral is a public item.  

 2                And as far as the meetings of the 

 3   committee, Madam President, the Senator has more 

 4   tenure on the committee, so he would definitely 

 5   have the history on that.  I do think that 

 6   hopefully the things that we have discussed have 

 7   resulted in constructive changes that we can both 

 8   live with.

 9                SENATOR GIANARIS:   Thank you.  

10                On the resolution, Madam President.

11                I think putting some teeth into this 

12   committee and giving it more defined purpose is a 

13   good idea.  I'm glad to have gotten some of the 

14   clarification about the jurisdiction of the 

15   committee and how it will function.  

16                But I remain extremely concerned and 

17   opposed to the composition of this body and who 

18   will be making the appointments.  And as we sit 

19   here voting on these rules, it sounds to me like 

20   we don't have an answer as to who's going to be 

21   making these appointments, which is deeply 

22   concerning given the tradition and the history of 

23   keeping ethics bodies bipartisan, by majority and 

24   minority as well as by party.  

25                And given the fact that it's not 


                                                               42

 1   beyond the realm of possibility in the course of 

 2   history that ethics bodies have been used for 

 3   political ends, the best way to remove that is to 

 4   make sure everyone has an equal say.  And if we 

 5   have three conferences and that's unique, then 

 6   all three conferences should have an equal say 

 7   and have a requirement that they have to approve 

 8   any action the committee takes.

 9                So I remain very opposed to this.  I 

10   will be opposing these rules for a number of 

11   reasons, but particularly because I'm concerned 

12   that the wording of how this ethics committee is 

13   going to be made up is nothing but a political 

14   power grab when we should be doing the opposite 

15   and making this as independent and equal as 

16   possible.  

17                Thank you.

18                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Hoylman, 

19   why do you rise?

20                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

21   yield to some questions on the resolution, 

22   Madam President?  

23                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

24   yield?  

25                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.


                                                               43

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 2   Madam President, I'm referring to specifically 

 3   Section 10-4, on cellphone usage.  

 4                First, Happy New Year to all my 

 5   colleagues, and welcome to the new members of the 

 6   Senate and new staff who join us this year.

 7                Would the sponsor yield?  My first 

 8   question, could the sponsor explain the purpose 

 9   of Section 10-4 on cellphone usage?

10                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   The purpose 

11   is to maintain some level of decorum in the 

12   chambers while we're discussing and passing 

13   legislation.

14                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

15   continue to yield?  

16                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

17                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

18   Madam President.  So it's fair to say that these 

19   changes will help ensure that order and decorum 

20   are preserved?  

21                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   It will make 

22   it easier to do so.  Nothing can ensure decorum.

23                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

24   continue to yield?  

25                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.


                                                               44

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you.  

 2                Are there -- I might add that the 

 3   idea that these rule changes will help ensure 

 4   that order and decorum are preserved are the 

 5   exact reasons that House Speaker Ryan set forth 

 6   for restrictions on cellphone usage in the U.S. 

 7   Congress this week.

 8                Are there examples that the sponsor 

 9   can cite of lack of decorum or order because of 

10   cellphone usage?

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Well, I can't 

12   cite chapter and verse.  But it's pretty logical 

13   that if you're debating a bill and someone's got 

14   a cellphone taking photographs of you or people 

15   around you and participating in activities that 

16   would in some way distract speakers, distract the 

17   chair in conducting the business, I think it 

18   makes sense.

19                It's not like we're operating in a 

20   vacuum here.  There's a camera there 

21   (indicating), and there's a camera there 

22   (indicating).  And every single moment of this 

23   session is being videoed live, live stream, to 

24   the entire state and the world, if anyone's 

25   interested.


                                                               45

 1                So the fact of the matter is that 

 2   it's not that we've got to be transparent, we are 

 3   as transparent as could possibly be.  And there's 

 4   opportunities for individuals to -- the press, 

 5   for example, they can take photographs and videos 

 6   from the galleries.  Only if there's -- the 

 7   Secretary of the Senate provides that authority.  

 8   And there can be exceptions provided by the 

 9   Secretary of the Senate, as was today, because 

10   today was a special day and the special day 

11   required or was perfect for photographs of people 

12   being sworn in on this very important occasion.  

13                So I think individuals can certainly 

14   withhold the -- certainly not be -- be so 

15   important, while things are going on in the 

16   Senate chambers, to take videos of everything 

17   that's going on.

18                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

19   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 

20   yield?  

21                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

22                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

23   yield?

24                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   So would the 

25   sponsor be able to cite a single incident where 


                                                               46

 1   the use of a camera, cellphone camera, has led to 

 2   a lack of decorum or order in the chamber?  

 3                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 4   yield for a question?  

 5                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   I can't cite 

 6   a specific instance.  But I think it's pretty 

 7   logical, if there's people taking videos in the 

 8   session while people are speaking and trying to 

 9   respond -- maybe there's someone doing it right 

10   now, in view of the fact that the rules have not 

11   been adopted yet.  

12                It doesn't seem to me and it doesn't 

13   seem to the people proposing these rules, the 

14   Majority, that it's a substantial inconvenience 

15   for someone to actually view it in person what's 

16   happening, view it on a video what's happening, 

17   rather than have people milling around the 

18   chambers taking videos of their favorite joke 

19   that may be told or their favorite line that may 

20   be told.  And it just seems to be a practical way 

21   to have less confusion in the chambers while 

22   we're doing business.

23                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

24   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 

25   yield?  


                                                               47

 1                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 2   continue to yield?  

 3                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

 4                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   So since the 

 5   sponsor can't cite a single incident of lack of 

 6   decorum or order because of the use of a 

 7   cellphone, would he agree that this is to 

 8   anticipate such disorder and disruption because 

 9   of cellphone use?  

10                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   No.  I'm not 

11   suggesting that at all.  What I'm suggesting is 

12   that -- I'm -- you know, I'm at advanced years.  

13   And I've been doing this for a long time.  And I 

14   don't necessarily remember everything that 

15   happens.  And you don't have to wait for 

16   something to happen in order to provide a rule 

17   that would provide for decorum.  

18                So this isn't anticipatory, it just 

19   makes for good government when we are constantly 

20   live to anybody who wants to watch us.  And if 

21   someone wants their personal memento of a Senator 

22   speaking or a Senator saying something foolish, I 

23   guess you could pick it off the video camera or 

24   you could wait till you're outside of the 

25   chambers, in some other location, in order to 


                                                               48

 1   provide whatever video feed you want to provide.

 2                And by the way, I don't know what 

 3   Speaker Ryan's done.  I haven't really paid much 

 4   attention.  So I don't know if that comment has 

 5   anything to do with anything about the debate.  

 6   But I don't know if that's true or not.

 7                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

 8   continue to yield?  

 9                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

10   yield?  

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.  Yes.  

12   Yes.

13                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   So is it fair to 

14   say that the -- a hypothetical breach of decorum 

15   and order outweighs freedom of speech in this 

16   chamber?  

17                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Well, taking 

18   a photograph has nothing to do with freedom of 

19   speech, unless I'm misinterpreting the 

20   Constitution.  But I know that some cameras have 

21   flashes and things like that that could result in 

22   a lack of decorum.  And no one who is a Senator 

23   can -- I don't think it's a reasonable suggestion 

24   to claim that it in any way impairs freedom of 

25   speech.


                                                               49

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Will the sponsor 

 2   continue to yield, Madam President?

 3                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 4   yield?  

 5                (Laughter, applause as 

 6   Senator Felder ostentatiously uses his cellphone 

 7   camera.)

 8                SENATOR FELDER:   The rule's not in 

 9   yet.  

10                (Laughter.)

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   I rest my 

12   case.

13                (Laughter, applause.)

14                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

15   Madam President.

16                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

17   continue to yield?  

18                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

19                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   So, Senator 

20   Felder, this may be the last time you can do that 

21   and share that information with your 

22   constituents, whether it's live-streamed or 

23   photographed from a cellphone.  

24                And I want to go to the question of 

25   cellphones, because Section 4, Part A refers only 


                                                               50

 1   to cellphones.  It says cellular telephones -- by 

 2   the way, we just got these rules, you know, an 

 3   hour ago.  "Cellular telephones shall not be used 

 4   to take photographs, videos, or perform any other 

 5   recording function in the Senate chamber, 

 6   galleries, or lobbies, except those photographic 

 7   and recording functions performed by official 

 8   Senate photographers and videographers, without 

 9   the permission of the Secretary of the Senate."

10                So what about an iPad, a Brownie 

11   camera, a Polaroid?  My daughter got, for 

12   Hanukkah, a six-year-old's wristwatch that 

13   actually takes photos.  Would those be prohibited 

14   by this rule?

15                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Madam 

16   President, first of all, I know it's been a 

17   constant lament in legislative bodies, especially 

18   in the State of New York, about the lack of 

19   notice so that people don't have a chance to read 

20   things that are being debated.  

21                These proposed rules, despite what 

22   the Senator mentioned, were not handed to them an 

23   hour ago, they were sent out about 8 o'clock this 

24   morning.  

25                (Laughter.)


                                                               51

 1                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   And the fact 

 2   that he got it an hour ago, we can give him more 

 3   time to read it.  If he wants to read what he's 

 4   already asking me about before he asks me about 

 5   it, I'll be happy to wait for him to read it.  

 6   But that's not the case.

 7                As far as the interpretation of the 

 8   rule --

 9                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would you suspend 

10   this discussion, then, and the discussion on the 

11   rules so we would have time to review the --

12                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   No.  No.  No.  

13   Because I -- I know from your educational 

14   experience you're able to get through these rules 

15   at a relatively reasonable period of time.  And I 

16   think you've had that time.

17                But as far as cellular phones, the 

18   rules are interpreted by the Temporary President 

19   of the Senate.  And "cellular telephones" means 

20   cellular telephones.  If we wanted to have iPads, 

21   it would have said "iPads."  And I don't think 

22   there's any confusion as to what plain language 

23   means.

24                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

25   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 


                                                               52

 1   yield?  

 2                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 3   continue to yield?  

 4                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   So photographs by 

 5   other mechanisms will be permitted, including 

 6   Polaroids, Brownies, iPads, my daughter's 

 7   wristwatch?

 8                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Let me read 

 9   the language again.

10                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   If not, how does 

11   that further the decorum of the Senate chamber?  

12                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   It says 

13   cellular phones shall not be used to take 

14   photographs, videos, or perform any other 

15   functions.  And other recording function in the 

16   New York State chambers, galleries or lobbies, 

17   except those photographic and recording functions 

18   performed by official Senate photographers and 

19   videographers, without the permission of the 

20   Secretary of the Senate.  

21                And permission has been granted in 

22   the past on many occasion to have people in the 

23   galleries take photographs and -- by other means.  

24   And so that's the way I interpret it, and I think 

25   it's the plain language.


                                                               53

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 2   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 

 3   yield?

 4                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 5   continue to yield?  

 6                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Is the rationale 

 7   for this rule change the same for members of the 

 8   public who also take photos?  And secondly, can 

 9   you cite an incident of disruption or lack of 

10   decorum because members of the public are 

11   videotaping, taking photos, learning about the 

12   proceedings of the Senate chamber through the 

13   transmission of video and photographs?  

14                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, during 

15   session.  When session is not going on, there's 

16   often people here who are coming to visit the 

17   Capitol, they go on tours, they come up here, 

18   they take photographs as much as they want.  

19   We're just talking about during Senate sessions.

20                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

21   continue to yield?  

22                THE PRESIDENT:   I will pose the 

23   question, does the sponsor wish to yield?  

24                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.  Yes.  

25   Yes.


                                                               54

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 2   Madam President, can the sponsor cite a single 

 3   incident of members of the public causing a lack 

 4   of decorum because they've taken photographs 

 5   or --

 6                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yeah, 

 7   there's -- periodically, there's demonstrations 

 8   in the chambers, in the galleries, where people, 

 9   in order to emphasize a point or try to get some 

10   preferred legislation more attention -- there's 

11   been many instances of that.  And I recall many 

12   times where people were taking photographs and 

13   laughing and joking like this was basically a fun 

14   time in the playground.  And that's the type of 

15   thing we're trying to avoid.

16                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

17   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 

18   yield?  

19                THE PRESIDENT:   Does the sponsor 

20   wish to continue to yield?  

21                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.  Yes.

22                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I think -- does 

23   the sponsor acknowledge that there's a difference 

24   between a demonstration in the gallery and a 

25   citizen taking a photo?  One does not necessarily 


                                                               55

 1   relate to the other.

 2                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   You asked me 

 3   if I remember any instances where that happened, 

 4   and I explained the instances I remember.

 5                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 6   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 

 7   yield?

 8                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield?

10                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

11                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   What is the 

12   punishment for breaking this rule for members of 

13   the Senate.

14                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Life 

15   imprisonment without parole.  

16                (Laughter.)

17                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   It's -- 

18   obviously someone from the Senate, a designee of 

19   the Secretary of the Senate, would go to that 

20   person, explain the rules of the Senate and ask 

21   them to please leave.  If they're willing to 

22   please leave or stop the photographs, that's the 

23   end of the punishment.  

24                If, on the other hand, they won't 

25   stop, then we have individuals here who will help 


                                                               56

 1   them leave or stop taking the photographs.

 2                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Will the sponsor 

 3   continue to yield?  

 4                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 5   yield?  

 6                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

 7                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 8   Madam President.  So members will be expelled 

 9   from the chamber -- what about -- if they break 

10   the rule repeatedly.  That's what you said.  What 

11   about members of the press or public?

12                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   The public I 

13   think is what we just talked about, when you say 

14   the press and the public.  So I think we've 

15   talked about the public.  And I didn't say they'd 

16   be immediately expelled.  The public would be 

17   notified of the rules, if they hadn't known them 

18   before, and asked to stop.  If they stop, then 

19   that's it.  If they don't stop, then they would 

20   be escorted out for not abiding by the rules.

21                As far as the press is concerned, 

22   the press, with permission of the Secretary of 

23   the Senate -- as has been granted permission as 

24   long as I've been here -- can take photographs 

25   from the gallery.


                                                               57

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

 2   continue to yield, Madam President?  

 3                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 4   yield?

 5                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

 6                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 7   Madam President.  So in terms of our press, our 

 8   free press, do they have to see the Secretary of 

 9   the Senate every time they want to bring a camera 

10   onto the floor of the Senate or into the gallery, 

11   for that matter?  Or is it a blanket license from 

12   the Senate?  

13                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   No, they 

14   don't need a license.  But they do not have to 

15   ask permission.  And I don't think any member of 

16   the press has been prohibited in my time here 

17   from taking photographs from the gallery.  But 

18   it's just -- the wording is just an opportunity 

19   in case something happens during the course of a 

20   session where there's disruption, that there's at 

21   least an avenue for the Secretary of the Senate 

22   to maintain some type of decorum, even for the 

23   press.

24                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

25   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 


                                                               58

 1   yield?  

 2                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

 3   yield?  

 4                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

 5                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Through you, 

 6   Madam President.  So it is agreed that the 

 7   Secretary of the Senate could, in theory, revoke 

 8   permission for a member of the press to be on the 

 9   floor or in the gallery of the Senate with a 

10   camera?  

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, the 

12   Secretary of the Senate could do that.  But I'll 

13   ask you if you'll yield to a question.

14                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   I'm still -- 

15   still have a few more questions, and I'm happy to 

16   take some at the end.

17                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   I'll hold it.

18                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you.  

19                And does the -- through you, 

20   Madam President, would the sponsor continue to 

21   yield?  

22                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the sponsor 

23   continue to yield?  

24                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.  Yes.  

25   Yes.  Yes.


                                                               59

 1                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Does the sponsor 

 2   recognize that when a show of hands is taken in 

 3   this Senate chamber that the result of that show 

 4   of hands is not publicly available?  It is 

 5   recorded at the desk but not available for the 

 6   public's view.

 7                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   I wasn't 

 8   paying attention.  I was getting kind of tired.  

 9   And so can you try it again?  

10                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Does the sponsor 

11   acknowledge that when a show of hands is taken in 

12   this chamber, as it was earlier today or as it 

13   was, for example, when we set forth a hostile 

14   amendment on the Child Victims Act, that the show 

15   of hands is not recorded for the public's view?

16                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Well, we've 

17   got the live video stream that would pick up -- I 

18   don't know how much of it it would pick up -- 

19   number one.  

20                Number two, there are members of the 

21   press throughout the gallery, and some on the 

22   floor, that are here to witness what's happening, 

23   and there's no -- what I was going to ask you is, 

24   I'll just state it, there's never been a time in 

25   24 years when I've seen the Secretary of the 


                                                               60

 1   Senate, no matter who it was, to exclude members 

 2   of the press from being here to record whatever 

 3   they want to record.

 4                So I think there's plenty of 

 5   safeguards for the show of hands to be viewed by 

 6   the general public and observed in a transparent 

 7   way.

 8                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Would the sponsor 

 9   continue to yield, Madam President?  

10                THE PRESIDENT:   Would the sponsor 

11   yield?  

12                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes.

13                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   So we do have 

14   these two cameras that record some of our 

15   activity.  That is decided by, presumably, Senate 

16   operations.  It is their prerogative to show what 

17   they wish.  And I'm not certain at all that they 

18   show when members do raise their hands or not.

19                But I'm interested to know if the 

20   issue of -- does the Senator know who is in fact 

21   in charge of these cameras?  And under whose 

22   aegis is that office?  

23                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   First of 

24   all --

25                THE PRESIDENT:   Will the Senator 


                                                               61

 1   yield?

 2                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   -- I've been 

 3   only looking at these two cameras.  I didn't 

 4   realize my rear end was being videoed as well.

 5                (Laughter.)

 6                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   But there's 

 7   three more videos here, so there's a lot of 

 8   angles.  

 9                Somebody designated by the Secretary 

10   of the Senate controls the cameras.  I was going 

11   to say the Russians, but I didn't think you'd 

12   laugh at that.

13                (Scattered laughter.)

14                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   But the 

15   Secretary of the Senate has a person doing that, 

16   and we've never had a complaint from all the 

17   public that hinges on every one of our words at 

18   home while they're watching it on video, live 

19   stream.

20                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   On the 

21   resolution, Madam President.

22                THE PRESIDENT:   On the resolution.

23                SENATOR HOYLMAN:   Thank you to the 

24   sponsor.  I appreciate his explanation.  

25                Let me first say that I think we 


                                                               62

 1   should all shudder at the thought of our First 

 2   Amendment rights being curtailed in any context, 

 3   in particular a hypothetical one where the 

 4   sponsor is unable to cite a single instance of 

 5   disruption or lack of decorum due to the use of a 

 6   cellphone.  Particularly today, Madam President, 

 7   when we all just took an oath of office to uphold 

 8   the Constitution of the United States.  

 9                Secondly, cellphones are important 

10   not just for like group selfies, but it's a way 

11   for a lot of us to connect with our constituents.  

12   I don't know how many of our colleagues actually 

13   have constituents who watch the state channel, 

14   but I venture it's not very many.  We have a 

15   responsibility and, frankly, a responsibility to 

16   communicate activity on the Senate floor with our 

17   constituents.  

18                And in particular, Madam President, 

19   that is when we often will raise a show of hands, 

20   and those votes are not publicly available to 

21   know how Senators in fact voted on a number of 

22   actions that we take on this floor.

23                This, in pure and simple terms, is a 

24   violation of our free speech.  I think it's an 

25   insult to New Yorkers that we are curtailing the 


                                                               63

 1   opportunity to bring transparency to this 

 2   chamber.  No one has accused us of being too 

 3   transparent, but apparently that's the 

 4   hypothetical problem that we're dealing with 

 5   today.

 6                I would urge our colleagues to 

 7   reject these rules based on the fact that we are 

 8   limiting speech in one of the most important 

 9   forums, not just of members but of members of the 

10   public and, most importantly, members of the 

11   press.

12                Thank you, Madam President.

13                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

14   the resolution.  All those in favor signify by 

15   saying aye.

16                (Response of "Aye.")

17                THE PRESIDENT:   I'm sorry.  Senator 

18   Krueger.

19                SENATOR KRUEGER:   Thank you very 

20   much, Lieutenant Governor.

21                I have to say I've been listening to 

22   this discussion, and what is perturbing me 

23   immensely is both the continuation of the 

24   partisan and political design of a number of the 

25   rules.  


                                                               64

 1                The concept that the Ethics 

 2   Committee will now be picked by we still don't 

 3   know who, and in what combination.  And you would 

 4   think the Ethics Committee would be the committee 

 5   we would absolutely very much want to know the 

 6   details about before that committee started its 

 7   business.  

 8                The concept that they now have more 

 9   authority to actually tell the public and the 

10   press where they can be, where they cannot be, 

11   what they can hear, what they can record, video 

12   or audio.  

13                The concept that we are actually 

14   saying, for everyone who listened to the back and 

15   forth between Senator Hoylman previously, that 

16   the public and the press, even in the lobby, 

17   couldn't record a conversation going on.  Well, 

18   that's not on the TV cameras here.  Maybe the 

19   Russians are recording and listening; I don't 

20   know how to get access to their recordings.  

21                But the concept that we would be 

22   shutting ourselves off even further from public 

23   access and information about what goes on in 

24   discussions on this floor, in the lobby, in the 

25   surrounding areas is completely unacceptable.


                                                               65

 1                These rules put us back further in 

 2   time from some of the reforms that we had made in 

 3   the past.  They continue to shut out the 

 4   Democratic members in the way the rules are 

 5   designed to allow bills to come to the floor or 

 6   move through committees.  And now we are shutting 

 7   out and making more political both the access to 

 8   information and the potential most important 

 9   reviews by an Ethics Committee, yes, that never 

10   meets, and it would be lovely if it actually had 

11   a function and did something, but it's also 

12   critical in these times that it not be turned 

13   into a political and partisan game.

14                I am voting no and I urge my 

15   colleagues to vote no on these rules.  

16                Thank you, Madam President.

17                THE PRESIDENT:   Seeing no one else 

18   wishing to be heard, the question is on the 

19   resolution.  All those in favor signify by saying 

20   aye.

21                (Response of "Aye.")

22                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed, nay.

23                (Response of "Nay.")

24                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

25   adopted.


                                                               66

 1                Senator DeFrancisco.

 2                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, there's 

 3   a resolution at the desk calling for the election 

 4   of the Secretary of the Senate.  Will you call 

 5   that up, please.

 6                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

 7   read.

 8                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 9   Number 5, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, that 

10   Francis W. Patience of Latham, New York, be, and 

11   he hereby is elected Secretary of the Senate for 

12   the years 2017-2018.

13                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

14   the resolution.  All those in favor signify by 

15   saying aye.

16                (Response of "Aye.")

17                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed, nay.

18                (No response.)

19                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

20   adopted.

21                Mr. Patience, I ask that you please 

22   come forward to receive your oath of office.  You 

23   will be accompanied by Father James Walsh of 

24   St. Pius X of Loudonville.

25                (Applause.) 


                                                               67

 1                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Flanagan 

 2   will do the honors.

 3                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   I do solemnly 

 4   swear --

 5                MR. PATIENCE:   I do solemnly 

 6   swear --

 7                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- to uphold the 

 8   Constitution of the United States --

 9                MR. PATIENCE:   -- to uphold the 

10   Constitution of the United States --

11                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- the 

12   Constitution of the State of New York --

13                MR. PATIENCE:   -- the Constitution 

14   of the State of New York --

15                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- and to 

16   faithfully discharge the duties --

17                MR. PATIENCE:   -- and to faithfully 

18   discharge the duties --

19                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- of the office 

20   of the Secretary of the Senate --

21                MR. PATIENCE:   -- of the office of 

22   the Secretary of the Senate --

23                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- to the best 

24   of my abilities --

25                MR. PATIENCE:   -- to the best of my 


                                                               68

 1   abilities --

 2                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   -- so help me 

 3   God.

 4                MR. PATIENCE:   -- so help me God.

 5                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Congratulations.

 6                (Standing ovation.)

 7                THE PRESIDENT:   Congratulations, 

 8   Mr. Patience.  Look forward to continuing to work 

 9   together.  Thank you.

10                Senator DeFrancisco.

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   There's a 

12   resolution pertaining to the appointment of the 

13   Sergeant-at-Arms.  Could you please take up that 

14   resolution.

15                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

16   read.

17                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

18   Number 6, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, that 

19   Stephen F. Slagen be, and he hereby is elected 

20   Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate for the years 

21   2017-2018.

22                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

23   the resolution.  All in favor signify by saying 

24   aye.

25                (Response of "Aye.")


                                                               69

 1                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?

 2                (No response.)

 3                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

 4   adopted.

 5                (Standing ovation.)

 6                THE PRESIDENT:   For the record, 

 7   Stephen F. Slagen has been elected 

 8   Sergeant-at-Arms for the years 2017 to 2018.  

 9   It's my honor to present to you the 

10   Sergeant-at-Arms.  

11                Congratulations.  Look forward to 

12   continuing to see you in this chamber.

13                Senator DeFrancisco.

14                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, there's 

15   a resolution at the desk appointing probably the 

16   hardest-working person in this chamber who gets 

17   least recognized, Catherine Kirkland.  Could you 

18   take that up for her nomination for Senate 

19   Stenographer.

20                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

21   read.

22                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

23   Number 7, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, that 

24   Catherine Kirkland be, and she hereby is elected 

25   the Official Stenographer of the Senate for the 


                                                               70

 1   years 2017-2018.

 2                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

 3   the resolution.  All in favor signify by saying 

 4   aye.

 5                (Response of "Aye.")

 6                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?

 7                (No response.)

 8                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

 9   adopted.

10                For the record, Catherine Kirkland 

11   has been elected Senate Stenographer for the 

12   years 2017 to 2018.  It's my honor to present to 

13   you Catherine Kirkland, Senate Stenographer.  

14                Congratulations.

15                (Standing ovation.)

16                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator 

17   DeFrancisco.  

18                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Now would you 

19   please take up the resolution appointing a 

20   committee of three to inform the Governor.

21                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

22   read.

23                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

24   Number 9, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, 

25   directing the Temporary President to appoint a 


                                                               71

 1   committee of three to inform the Governor that 

 2   the Senate is organized and ready to proceed with 

 3   business.

 4                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

 5   the resolution.  All those in favor signify by 

 6   saying aye.

 7                (Response of "Aye.")

 8                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?  

 9                (No response.)

10                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

11   adopted.

12                Senator DeFrancisco.

13                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   And the next 

14   resolution, please take up the committee of three 

15   to inform the Assembly.

16                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

17   read.  

18                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Madam 

19   President, will you postpone that request of 

20   mine?  Because I missed one.  

21                There's a resolution at the desk 

22   setting forth the hours of the Senate for 

23   2017-2018.  Could we take that up first, please.

24                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

25   read.


                                                               72

 1                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

 2   Number 8, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, 

 3   providing for the hours of meeting by the Senate 

 4   for the years 2017-2018.

 5                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

 6   the resolution.  All in favor signify by saying 

 7   aye.

 8                (Response of "Aye.")

 9                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?

10                (No response.)

11                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

12   carried.

13                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Next would 

14   you take up the resolution concerning the 

15   committee of three to inform the Assembly.

16                THE PRESIDENT:   The Secretary will 

17   read.

18                THE SECRETARY:   Senate Resolution 

19   Number 10, by Senators Flanagan and Klein, 

20   directing the Temporary President to appoint a 

21   committee of three to wait upon the Assembly and 

22   inform that body that the Senate is assembled and 

23   ready to proceed with business.

24                THE PRESIDENT:   The question is on 

25   the resolution.  All in favor signify by saying 


                                                               73

 1   aye.

 2                (Response of "Aye.")

 3                THE PRESIDENT:   Opposed?

 4                (No response.)

 5                THE PRESIDENT:   The resolution is 

 6   adopted.

 7                Senator DeFrancisco.

 8                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, can you 

 9   now recognize Senator Stewart-Cousins, the 

10   conference leader for the Democrat Conference, 

11   for remarks.

12                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator 

13   Stewart-Cousins.

14                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Thank 

15   you, Madam President.  

16                And Happy New Year to all of my 

17   colleagues.  It's good to have you back.

18                I want to thank my Democratic 

19   colleagues for once again electing me as the 

20   Democratic leader, and assure you that it is an 

21   honor to serve you and to serve in this position.

22                I'd also like to congratulate 

23   Senator Flanagan for his reelection, as well as 

24   Senator Klein for his reelection, to their 

25   respective conferences.


                                                               74

 1                And of course I want to welcome all 

 2   of the new members into the chamber, and 

 3   specially highlight our two members.  I want to 

 4   highlight Jamaal Bailey, who is from Senate 

 5   District 36, representing Mount Vernon and parts 

 6   of the Bronx.  

 7                You should know that Senator Bailey 

 8   is an attorney, and he's worked very, very 

 9   closely with a lot of people, but certainly with 

10   speaker Heastie over the years.  And he's been a 

11   longtime fighter for education and social 

12   justice.  And most importantly, he's here with 

13   his family, including his wife and his older 

14   daughter.  He is a brand-new father as of a few 

15   weeks ago.  So if he looks a little tired, it's 

16   because -- which he does not -- it's because of 

17   the birth of beautiful Corinna.  

18                So welcome, Jamaal.  

19                (Applause.)

20                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   And of 

21   course our second Senator from Long Island, I'd 

22   like to welcome John Brooks from Senate District 

23   8.  John is a longtime public servant who has 

24   done so much to serve the people of Long Island, 

25   from being a fire chief to a school board member.  


                                                               75

 1                Senator Brooks, thank you for 

 2   continuing to serve with our conference.  

 3   Congratulations.

 4                (Applause.)

 5                SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS:   Senator 

 6   Flanagan, Senator Klein, the Democratic 

 7   Conference stands ready to work with you.  

 8   Obviously when we agree, we will work together.  

 9   And of course, if we disagree, we won't be shy 

10   about it.

11                A new year and a new session should 

12   serve as a restart button and a time to refresh 

13   our commitment to this great state.  And last 

14   year, I think we can all agree, was a very 

15   interesting year.  

16                In light of that, I believe it's 

17   fair to say that many in this great progressive 

18   state of New York look to Washington and the new 

19   Trump administration with grave concern.  The 

20   national Republican Party has made it clear that 

21   they are looking at rolling back so many hard-won 

22   victories for the working men and women of the 

23   country and certainly here in New York.  

24                And of course I look at that chamber 

25   of 32 Democrats, 31 Republicans, and once again 


                                                               76

 1   we are denied our rightful place leading the 

 2   Senate.  Democrats must be true to their values, 

 3   especially in an atmosphere that we will likely 

 4   be facing.  Democrats should be united.

 5                In the African-American tradition, 

 6   in their church on New Year's Eve they have 

 7   what's called watch service.  And the watch 

 8   service is born of the days when the enslaved 

 9   people were waiting for the signing of the 

10   Emancipation Proclamation.  It still goes on 

11   every year.  

12                This year, however, led by Reverend 

13   Barber out of North Carolina, he went to 

14   Washington, D.C., and had kind of a National 

15   Watch Night.  And the National Watch Night was 

16   about telling Americans to revile hate, to push 

17   back on any strategies that would be extreme, and 

18   to really call forth this spirit of a 

19   people-centered political agenda, a 

20   people-centered public policy agenda.

21                I look at us here and I know that 

22   all of us should know and understand that for 

23   people in New York State, we are those watchers.  

24   We are their eyes, their ears, their voice.  But 

25   fortunately, we are more than watchers.  We're 


                                                               77

 1   workers.  So not only can we talk, we can act, we 

 2   can do.

 3                So the Senate Democrats want to 

 4   assure you and all New Yorkers that we will work 

 5   to increase economic opportunity for all, we will 

 6   work to ensure equal rights for all, we will work 

 7   to protect a woman's right to choose, we will 

 8   work to protect our elections and its franchise, 

 9   make sure it's easier to register to vote.  It 

10   amazes me that we still don't have early voting 

11   here.  We will work to fix our criminal justice 

12   system and pass things, yes, like Raise the Age.  

13   We will work to restore trust in government, pass 

14   real ethics reforms, like closing the LLC 

15   loophole, regulating campaign funds.  We will 

16   work to continue to lower our tax burden, our 

17   mandates on local governments, help our small 

18   businesses strive.  We'll work to make sure all 

19   New York children have access, from pre-K, to 

20   quality education they deserve, and that our 

21   children have access to affordable, quality 

22   higher education.  We will work to make sure we 

23   protect our environment and not give in to those 

24   who actually doubt climate change.

25                So Senators, Senator Flanagan, 


                                                               78

 1   Senator Klein, as I said before, the Senate 

 2   Democrats will support you when we agree and we 

 3   will challenge you when we disagree.  We'll not 

 4   allow partisan bickering to obstruct our efforts 

 5   because we understand we're here to serve our 

 6   constituents and together we give all New Yorkers 

 7   the responsible and protective government we 

 8   deserve.

 9                And to my fellow New Yorkers, the 

10   Senate Democratic Conference will not only be 

11   watching for injustices and working to stop them, 

12   we will continue to move the ball forward.  Let's 

13   get to work.  

14                Thank you.  

15                (Standing ovation.)

16                THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you, Senator.  

17                I'd like to recognize the members of 

18   the Assembly who are present.  Do you have 

19   something to report?  

20                ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:   I'm here with 

21   Assemblyman Farrell to inform the Senate that 

22   Carl Heastie has been reelected as speaker, the 

23   Assembly is organized and prepared to proceed 

24   with business for 2017.

25                THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you.


                                                               79

 1                Senator DeFrancisco.

 2                (Applause.)

 3                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Thank you, 

 4   Assemblyman Farrell and Assemblyman Oaks.  And I 

 5   want to compliment you on your straight and 

 6   to-the-point message.  Thank you.

 7                (Laughter.)

 8                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Madam 

 9   President, would you now please recognize Senator 

10   Klein.

11                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Klein.

12                SENATOR KLEIN:   Thank you, Madam 

13   President.  

14                Thank you, my colleagues.  

15                The start of session is usually a 

16   very exciting one, and I think this is certainly 

17   the year where I think we all need to continue 

18   down the road of getting things done.  I think 

19   certainly New Yorkers expect, regardless of 

20   outcomes of elections, for us to roll up our 

21   sleeves, work together to get things done.

22                Certainly the start of session this 

23   year for the Independent Democratic Conference, 

24   which expanded to seven members, is a good one.  

25                First I want to welcome our very 


                                                               80

 1   special new member, State Senator Marisol 

 2   Alcantara, who will join our chamber as the first 

 3   Dominican-American woman ever to serve in the New 

 4   York State Senate.  

 5                (Applause.)

 6                SENATOR KLEIN:   I also want to 

 7   welcome Senator Jesse Hamilton to our conference.  

 8   Certainly he's not new to this chamber.  His hard 

 9   work is something we all respect.  

10                And of course I want to welcome back 

11   and thank all of my colleagues in the IDC:  My 

12   deputy leader, David Valesky; Senator Diane 

13   Savino; Senator David Carlucci, and Senator Tony 

14   Avella.  

15                You know, these are members who 

16   never shy away from doing the people's business.  

17   They are constantly looking for ways -- I really 

18   do believe that they get up every morning with a 

19   very simple truth:  How do we make a positive 

20   difference in the lives of New Yorkers?  And I 

21   want to give them all a round of applause.

22                (Applause.)

23                SENATOR KLEIN:   I want to say a 

24   very special thank you to John Flanagan, our 

25   President of the Senate.  


                                                               81

 1                I want to tell you, last year I 

 2   think was the best example of anyone who can 

 3   actually talk about what we did in the State 

 4   Senate is coming together and work together in a 

 5   bipartisan fashion.  On minimum wage, which 

 6   reflected the hard work of the hardest-working 

 7   New Yorkers.  The most comprehensive, best paid 

 8   family leave program anywhere in the nation.  We 

 9   took on the blight of zombie properties which was 

10   affecting our state.  We can go on and on.  But I 

11   think it was really because of the role that John 

12   plays in understanding that this institution is 

13   something that's very, very important to us.

14                And when we enter this chamber we 

15   enter this chamber as Senators, Democrats, 

16   Republicans, members of the Independent 

17   Democratic Conference.  But I think we all 

18   recognize and John, I think, is the leader among 

19   us that makes sure this all happens, that we get 

20   things done.  And I want to thank him and I want 

21   to congratulate him on getting reelected as the 

22   President of the Senate.

23                (Applause.)

24                SENATOR KLEIN:   You know, like 

25   every year, the Independent Democratic Conference 


                                                               82

 1   is not shy about putting forth a very robust 

 2   agenda, and I think this year is no different.  

 3   This year our mantra is changing New York for the 

 4   better, and it starts with a college education.  

 5   I applaud the Governor for what he put forth 

 6   yesterday.  But last week the Independent 

 7   Democratic Conference put forth a program which 

 8   we want to make sure that college is affordable 

 9   for all.

10                You know, we talk a lot about 

11   college education, but I think we miss the point 

12   when we don't help the many instead of just the 

13   few.  There is no one that we represent, there is 

14   no young person that isn't hit by the high cost 

15   of college tuition.  So our program is going to 

16   increase TAP awards, increase the eligibility for 

17   TAP, and make sure that any individual, even 

18   regardless of their immigration status, has a 

19   right for TAP and their ability to go to college.  

20   That's something that's extremely important.

21                We also want to make sure, as we 

22   talked about earlier this year, we put together a 

23   robust proposal again a couple of weeks ago, we 

24   want to Raise the Age.  Besides being an issue of 

25   fairness, too many of our young people are 


                                                               83

 1   suffering with a criminal background, needlessly 

 2   so.  And we actually put sort of an economic 

 3   twist showing how much we can save by not 

 4   incarcerating young people for minor offenses, 

 5   and put that money where it belongs -- for 

 6   education, drug treatment, and other things that 

 7   are disturbing and really putting away our youth 

 8   needlessly.

 9                We also put together a very robust 

10   proposal to create jobs.  You know something, one 

11   of the things that I think we have to be mindful 

12   of is that we have to get back to basics in the 

13   State of New York.  We can't turn around and say 

14   that we can no longer compete for manufacturing 

15   jobs here in New York.  That's why the IDC put 

16   forth a program, Made by New Yorkers, where we 

17   want to encourage manufacturers to come back to 

18   New York and manufacture here again, creating 

19   jobs.  

20                You know, it's very hard to tell 

21   someone who's in their 40s and 50s who did 

22   manufacturing their entire life, that somehow 

23   they're now going to be trained for high-tech 

24   work, high-tech industries.  That's something 

25   that really shouldn't be.


                                                               84

 1                So again, we can go on and on -- and 

 2   I'm sure I will, and my colleagues, during this 

 3   session.  But at the same time, I welcome 

 4   everyone back.  And I'm so happy that we're here 

 5   again rolling up our sleeves and getting things 

 6   done for all New Yorkers.  

 7                Thank you all. 

 8                (Standing ovation.)

 9                THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you, Senator.

10                Senator DeFrancisco.

11                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Please 

12   recognize Senator Flanagan.

13                THE PRESIDENT:   Senator Flanagan.

14                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Thank you very 

15   much.  And Lieutenant Governor, it's nice to see 

16   you here.  

17                And I want to welcome everyone, wish 

18   everyone a Happy New Year.  And I enjoy listening 

19   to my colleagues, whether it's rule changes or 

20   not.  And I have a tick list of things that I 

21   just want to touch on that I think are extremely 

22   important.  

23                I want to return the favor in kind.  

24   I want to say good and nice things about Senator 

25   Stewart-Cousins.  And when we do speak, as I've 


                                                               85

 1   always said, she comports herself as a very fine 

 2   human being, and for that alone I should be 

 3   grateful.  

 4                (Laughter.)

 5                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   I didn't mean it 

 6   that way.  I meant it in a good way.

 7                Also to Mike Gianaris, who has done 

 8   a terrific job on the floor working cordially, 

 9   especially with Senator DeFrancisco.  And that 

10   makes for a smooth operation of our house.  

11                So two very bright individuals who 

12   work on behalf of getting our business done here 

13   in the New York State Senate.  Neither one of 

14   them believes what I just said, but that's okay.  

15                (Laughter.)

16                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   And then I also 

17   want to tell you how much I deeply appreciate 

18   Jeff Klein.  Jeff has proven to be a very 

19   valuable ally, he's a very smart colleague, and I 

20   would agree with Dave Valesky, I think the only 

21   one -- I might have to say Cathy Young rivals 

22   Jeff Klein for work ethic, but we'll have it as a 

23   tossup.  

24                I just know that he always comes up 

25   with very unique ideas, and they engender and 


                                                               86

 1   generate discussion, and a lot of times it ends 

 2   up in results.  So that's a good thing.  That's a 

 3   good thing for this body, for the New York State 

 4   Assembly, and most importantly, for the people of 

 5   the State of New York.

 6                A gentleman was here earlier today, 

 7   he was standing with his good friend and 

 8   colleague the newly elected Senator Bailey, and 

 9   that is Carl Heastie.  And I'm going to be so 

10   abundantly New York clear.  Over the course of 

11   the latter part of the session and through the 

12   fall, and more importantly after the election, 

13   between Election Day and New Year's, he proved to 

14   be a gentleman-plus, a leader, a class act.  

15                And as Senator DeFrancisco spoke to, 

16   we didn't get done some of the things that we 

17   wanted to, but I'm going to tell you, it's not 

18   for lack of trying.  And I can say with the 

19   utmost clarity that Speaker Heastie acted as a 

20   gentleman and as a legislator and a leader and 

21   made it ways -- made it a lot easier to try and 

22   get things done.

23                Frank Patience.  Everybody loves 

24   Frank; right?  Everybody loves Frank.  So, Frank, 

25   I just want to wish you congratulations and say 


                                                               87

 1   thank you for all your fantastic work.  You 

 2   deserve it.

 3                (Applause.)

 4                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   To our new 

 5   members, as we welcome every one of you, we get 

 6   to know Senator Bailey, Senator Brooks, 

 7   Senator -- and I'm going to have to try and 

 8   learn, is it Al-cantra or Al-cantara?  Okay, 

 9   Al-cantra.  Bonacic's going to need a little 

10   extra help figuring that one out.  

11                But to the colleagues on our side of 

12   the aisle, I see Elaine Phillips, who had a 

13   distinguished record at the local government 

14   level, fantastic family, all of whom are here 

15   today.  We are delighted to have her join us.  

16                Where is Pam?  Pam, okay.  Pam 

17   Helming, from Canandaigua.  I've been there so 

18   many times I'm saying it properly.  And she has a 

19   background that I just realized, in looking at 

20   some of her bio, working with group homes.  So 

21   working with people like Rob Ortt on the mental 

22   health issues and things of that nature.  

23                We have people on both sides of the 

24   aisle who come to this house with a great deal of 

25   experience, which is inherently valuable.  


                                                               88

 1                And Mr. Jacobs, a distinguished 

 2   member from Western New York.  A great family, 

 3   great philanthropy, great benevolence.  Just a 

 4   very good person.  County clerks -- and we all 

 5   know we love our county clerks, we have a county 

 6   clerk caucus.  

 7                And last but by no means least, 

 8   Senator -- newly elected Senator Jim Tedisco, who 

 9   served with aplomb and insanity and just 

10   on-driving energy for 34 years in the New York 

11   State Assembly.  And you know, Jim, I know, 

12   having served there, I know the role that gets 

13   played on a lot of the members of our conference, 

14   can attest to that as well.  

15                So to all of you, I certainly wish 

16   you the best.  And I want -- this is going to 

17   take a little bit of an explanation.  Senator 

18   Kennedy gave everybody a little token of candy 

19   from the western part of the state.  I have to 

20   explain this, because I already see that Senator 

21   Serrano has put the candy in his mug.  The candy 

22   came from Senator Kennedy.  The mug was given to 

23   me by one of my staff.  

24                And if you look at the mug that's on 

25   your desk, to me, this is the theme I want to 


                                                               89

 1   stress.  This is one New York.  It's one 

 2   New York.  Ken LaValle was a little annoyed 

 3   because I didn't get Montauk written in on the 

 4   East End there.  But it's one New York.  

 5                And yes, it's a big mug.  It's a big 

 6   mug.  And everyone got a heads-up lucky penny on 

 7   the inside.  So we can all use good luck.  And if 

 8   we maintain that theme in terms of how we do our 

 9   business, we will be in a very good spot.

10                We have done a couple of things.  

11   We've proven that we can lead, collectively.  

12   We've proven that we can govern.  And I think 

13   we've done that in many ways that we can be very 

14   proud of -- not perfectly.  I'll never suggest 

15   that it's perfectly.  But reality is now the 

16   elections are over.  And I'm watching everything 

17   just the way you are, not only here but down in 

18   Washington.  Everybody, everybody, including the 

19   members in this house and the new members, 

20   deserves a chance to cut their teeth, to grow, to 

21   do the public's business.  And I don't care if 

22   it's in Washington or here in the great State of 

23   New York, we all need to work together.  So 

24   that's going to be very important.  

25                And like I said, elections are over, 


                                                               90

 1   so let's get about the people's business.  And 

 2   when I think of things that we have advocated and 

 3   come to resolution through negotiation and 

 4   compromise with our Democratic colleagues -- a 

 5   property tax cap.  We've pushed for a spending 

 6   cap at the state level.  Record investments in 

 7   education.  Trying to do as much as humanly 

 8   possible in the area of higher ed.  

 9                Ken LaValle -- and I was remiss in 

10   not doing this properly.  Ladies and gentlemen, 

11   Ken LaValle is now starting his 41st year in the 

12   New York State Senate.  He is the dean of the 

13   Senate.

14                (Applause.)

15                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   And the amazing 

16   thing to me is I'm starting my 31st year, and I 

17   still feel like a rookie when I'm sitting next to 

18   him.

19                But it's also wonderful to have 

20   back, it's wonderful to see Senator Marcellino 

21   and Senator Hannon, who both are recovering from 

22   hip surgery.  So gentlemen, it is awesome, 

23   awesome to have you back here with us today.

24                (Applause.)

25                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   There are so 


                                                               91

 1   many other areas that we could touch on.  People 

 2   talk about infrastructure -- Joe Robach's work on 

 3   transportation, Betty Little's work on housing, 

 4   Jim Seward's work on insurance.  There are so 

 5   many different aspects to the work that we do 

 6   that we need to keep talking about.  

 7                And I'm going to do my normal 

 8   thing -- Senator Stewart-Cousins, I know she'll 

 9   allow me to do this -- organ donation.  Let's 

10   keep talking about organ donation.  Let's save 

11   lives.  Let's get awareness out to the public.  

12   You can actually save somebody's life by doing 

13   that.  

14                So please, if you are not 

15   registered, make sure you register.  To me, I 

16   have a passion because of a personal friend, as 

17   everybody knows.  But it's something that inures 

18   to the benefit of people all across this state.  

19   So anything you can do to help in that regard 

20   would be extremely important.

21                So now I want to talk about human 

22   capital.  Human capital.  We can build buildings, 

23   we can do all kinds of different things.  And I 

24   listened carefully to my colleagues, and whether 

25   it's college affordability or Raise the Age or 


                                                               92

 1   things like that, what people need are jobs.  

 2   They need jobs more than anything else.  Senator 

 3   Klein spoke to the issue of jobs.  We need to do 

 4   a lot more.  Our tax policy I don't think is 

 5   working.  I already see people talking about 

 6   raising taxes this year already, coming out of 

 7   the gate.  

 8                We should be talking about how we 

 9   come up with a better tax policy, a better 

10   regulatory environment, a better business 

11   structure.  And at this point it ain't going to 

12   be so easy, because revenues are not where 

13   everyone wants them to be.  Our personal income 

14   tax collections are down, and that means a lot of 

15   different things.  That has an effect on jobs, it 

16   has an effect on our ability to make investments 

17   in different areas, whether it's veterans or the 

18   environment or things like that.

19                So if we don't have jobs and we 

20   don't have the right environment -- and I'm 

21   talking about clean water, clean air, but I'm  

22   talking about a business and regulatory 

23   environment that is more friendly than it is 

24   now -- all those other issues -- I think of Raise 

25   the Age.  One of the problems with Raise the Age 


                                                               93

 1   is a lot of these kids are getting in trouble 

 2   because they don't have jobs.  So if people had 

 3   good, solid jobs, no opioid and heroin 

 4   addiction -- workforce development, job training, 

 5   small-business people like George Amedore and a 

 6   lot of people similarly situated in this Senate.  

 7   So we're going to stay very, very, very focused 

 8   on job creation.

 9                Now, having said that, I think I 

10   want to segue and end at relatively the same 

11   time.  We're going to have our priorities and 

12   yeah, we'll battle, we'll go back and forth.  But 

13   at the end of the day, we'll get the people's 

14   business done.  

15                But I really want to make this 

16   distinction, because what happens is when we get 

17   up and we start asking tough questions, some 

18   people freak out.  Some people that work in 

19   Albany and work in Washington, they get all very 

20   upset about the fact that we're asking tough 

21   questions.  So if the EPA is allowing dumping in 

22   Long Island Sound and we go after them, I'm not 

23   going to apologize for that, nor should anybody 

24   in this chamber.  

25                So when we talk about START-UP NY, 


                                                               94

 1   we talk about Regional Economic Development 

 2   Councils, we talk about all those types of 

 3   things, we have an obligation to ask hard 

 4   questions.  Senator Young sat through almost a 

 5   hundred hours of hearings last year in the budget 

 6   process, and so did a lot of other people.  Not 

 7   quite as many.  But we have a process.  

 8                And if we're asking those questions, 

 9   Joe Griffo has every right in the world to get up 

10   and say, "There were 1100 jobs coming to Utica; 

11   now they're not."  That's not good for anybody.  

12   That's not good for anybody.  That's not good for 

13   Kevin Parker's district; that's not good for my 

14   district.  

15                So if people get uptight because 

16   you're all acting like public servants and 

17   elected officials, get over it.  Get over it.

18                (Applause.)

19                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   I serve -- I'm 

20   going to have a unique distinction.  Jim Seward 

21   and I got elected the same year.  I served 

22   16 years in the New York State Assembly, and at 

23   the end of this term I will have had the good 

24   fortune and privilege to have served 16 years 

25   here.  Which is pretty unique.  Not a lot of 


                                                               95

 1   people get that chance.  And sure as heck, not a 

 2   lot of people get the chances that I've had.

 3                So a couple of people -- there's a 

 4   gentleman here, because I want to talk about 

 5   public service, I asked him to come back today.  

 6   I don't know where he is.  But Michael Paoli 

 7   retired recently as secretary to the 

 8   Finance Committee.  Great, great public servant.  

 9   He's the type of person that deserves accolades 

10   and our praise and our friendship.  And, ladies 

11   and gentlemen, there are tens of thousands of 

12   people like that who work in New York State 

13   government.  

14                So let's stand up for public 

15   people and -- well, go ahead.  Please stand up, 

16   Michael.

17                (Applause.)

18                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   He deserves a 

19   round of applause just because he had to work 

20   with Mujica for all those years.  I'm sure he 

21   heard that.  Okay, Robert, it's okay.

22                (Laughter.)

23                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   And I'm also 

24   blessed because I had a surprise today.  And when 

25   I watched people's families and people getting 


                                                               96

 1   sworn in, I had a really pleasant surprise.  My 

 2   mother was here, and I knew she was going to be 

 3   coming.  People that I work with locally came.  

 4   But my sister and my niece showed up as a 

 5   complete surprise, not only to me but to my 

 6   mother.  

 7                So we all are fortunate to have 

 8   people who love us and who embrace us.  And I 

 9   just want to say thank you personally to my 

10   family.

11                (Applause.)

12                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   Okay, Article 3 

13   of the New York State Constitution, it's very 

14   simple.  Kemp Hannon, this is so short, it's 

15   perfect.  "The legislative power of the State is 

16   vested in the Senate and the Assembly."  Not the 

17   Attorney General, not the Comptroller, and not 

18   Governor.  

19                So I'm going to close on this.  I 

20   work in the New York State Senate, as do all of 

21   you.  And I'm going to stand up for the primacy 

22   and independence of this body.  It is long 

23   overdue.

24                (Tumultuous standing ovation.)

25                SENATOR FLANAGAN:   On that note, 


                                                               97

 1   thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Let's get 

 2   back to the people's business.  And I'm proud to 

 3   work with all of you, and I'm going to be proud 

 4   to make sure that we create jobs and get the 

 5   people's business done.  

 6                Thank you very much.

 7                (Applause.)

 8                THE PRESIDENT:   Thank you, Senator.

 9                Senator DeFrancisco.

10                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   Yes, is there 

11   any further business at the desk?  

12                THE PRESIDENT:   There is no further 

13   business at the desk.

14                SENATOR DeFRANCISCO:   There being 

15   no further business, I move we adjourn until 

16   Monday, January 9th, at 3:00 p.m., intervening 

17   days being legislative days.

18                THE PRESIDENT:   On motion, the 

19   Senate stands adjourned until Monday, 

20   January 9th, at 3:00 p.m., intervening days being 

21   legislative days.

22                (Whereupon, at 2:10 p.m., the Senate 

23   adjourned.)

24

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