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You Paid For It: Empty seats at the State Capitol

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As the legislative session enters its second month, two Capital Region seats are empty. A special election, called by the governor to fill them, is still more than two months away.

A quarter of a million people in our area right now do not have representation in the New York Assembly.

In rural Schoharie County, Asm. Pete Lopez gave up his seat in October, to become an administrator with the federal EPA.

In Rensselaer County, Steve McLaughlin left his Assembly seat to take on the post of county executive.

And it's not just the Capital Region -- overall, there are nine empty seats in the Assembly, and two in the Senate. In some places, people who don't have an assembly member are calling on their senators for help.

Many people encouraged Gov. Cuomo to make the call the first week of January, so the elections, after the mandatory 70-day waiting period, could be in mid-March -- in time for budget negotiations.

That didn't happen, so people in those districts won't have any say in the state Assembly until the end of April.


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