Monday afternoon, the New York State Senate elected Sen. John J. Flanagan of Long Island as the temporary president for the remainder of the 2015-16 term. The new majority leader replaces Sen. Dean Skelos, the long-tenured lawmaker who resigned his leadership post following his arrest on corruption charges last week.
In response to Flanagan's promotion, Sen. Rob Ortt said, "Sen. Skelos' decision to step down as majority leader was the right thing to do for the conference and for the state. While last week may have shown differences of opinions among Senate Republicans, we emerged from a leadership vote today as a united group. I congratulate Sen. Flanagan on his election to majority leader and look forward to working with him to create jobs, lower taxes, keep spending down and properly invest in education and infrastructure.
"Now is the time to put the people of New York first and address these issues and the issues that go against our Second Amendment rights. I stand unwavering in my efforts to repeal the unconstitutional SAFE Act, and hope our new leader will stand with me to get this done."
Assemblyman John Ceretto offered encouraging words to Flanagan.
"It's good to know that the arrest of Sen. Dean Skelos will no longer distract our legislature. Honest legislators can get back to work," Ceretto said. "Sen. Flanagan has a strong track record of working with legislators from both sides of the aisle. He's focused on making New York state a great place to live, and I'm confident that Sen. Flanagan will make a positive impact as Senate majority leader."
NYGOP Chair Ed Cox said, "Congratulations to Sen. John Flanagan on being elected leader of the State Senate.
"Senate Republicans and the Republican Party continue united in the service of the people of New York."