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Legislative session begins
ALBANY -- Lawmakers returned to Albany for the start of a new legislative session on Monday.
There are 11 fewer lawmakers in Albany this year. In the assembly there are nine fewer members with nearly half gone because of a scandal.
On Monday, during the first day of session, members talked about hope and believing the bad members are being forced out. Several lawmakers, including Steve McLaughlin, R-Melrose, believes it's now up to the pubic to "send the right people to Albany".
McLaughlin says implementing more rules, and passing more laws will not change the culture.
"Unethical people don't care about a law." McLaughlin said.
There were many empty seats in the assembly chamber on the first day of session. Not in attendance was Assemblyman Micah Kellner, D- NYC, who is still a member but under investigation by the Assembly Ethics Committee for his alleged role in harassing female staffers.
Also leaving a vacant seat, Monday, now former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak who called his decision to leave office "a retirement". Gabryszak made the announcement, Sunday, one day before session amid accusations of sexually harssing some of his staffers.
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, D- Albany, said Monday she was "relieved he stepped down".
"I am not the one to finger point I just say when allegations are true, step aside and do the right thing. " Fahy said.
On Monday Governor Andrew Cuomo's office says there has been no decision yet to call a special election to fill the 11 vacated seats.