Ortt says he supports new Senate leader

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2015 at 12:00 am

The State Senate, which has a narrow 33-32 Republican majority, has a new leader today after Dean Skelos stepped down from the top post. Skelos and his son face corruption charges.

Ortt issued this statement this evening:

“Senator Skelos’ decision to step down as majority leader was the right thing to do for the conference and for the state,” Ortt said. “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 Senator 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.”

Flanagan voted in favor of the SAFE Act in January 2013.

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association issued this statement about Flanagan’s election as Senate majority leader:

“The election of Senator John Flanagan as the leader of the New York State Senate Republican Caucus is a divisive blow to the freedom loving people of New York and should send a chill down the spine of every gun owner since the new leader voted in favor of the so-called SAFE Act.

“What this says is the Republican Party cares nothing about the hardworking, God-fearing and 2nd Amendment loving residents of New York State. While paying lip service the concerns of their core constituency, they elect a leader who will continue the status quo. The Senators who cast their vote for Senator Flanagan must pay for this breach of trust in the next election.”

Flanagan has served as Senate Education Committee chairman. The New York State United Teachers congratulated Flanagan on his election.

“As Education Committee chairman, Sen. Flanagan has worked closely with education stakeholders on many issues,” the union stated. “He understands the deep concerns students, parents and educators have about current state education policy. NYSUT congratulates Sen. Flanagan on his election as Senate majority leader, and looks forward to working with him this session and in the future to champion the needs of public education.”