The state’s lieutenant governor, Robert Duffy, gave what was likely his last public address, at an awards ceremony for the regional economic development councils, where the retiring Duffy was praised by Governor Cuomo and others.
In January, the state’s highest court will have two fewer judges. Only five of the seven slots will be filled, due to a mandatory retirement and delays by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Senate over confirmation hearings.
Judge Robert Smith, a well respected jurist appointed by former Governor George Pataki, will leave the court at the end of 2014 because he’s reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
The leader of the Senate Republicans says his members will once again join forces with a group of breakaway Democrats to rule the Senate come January. Senator Dean Skelos says his members also want a pay raise.
Republicans won a bare majority of 32 seats in the 2014 elections, and GOP Leader Dean Skelos, following a two hour closed door meeting with his republican members, says the GOP will once again form a coalition government with leader of the Independent Democrats, Senator Jeff Klein.
The New York Senate will likely miss a deadline to approve Governor Cuomo’s latest choice for the state’s high court. As a result, there will be six judges instead of seven on the court come December.
The vacancy on the state’s highest court is occurring because the 14 year term of Judge Victoria Graffeo expires at the end of November. Graffeo, a widely respected Republican chosen by former Governor George Pataki, could have served for eight more years before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, had Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, chosen to reappoint her.