Local senators give high marks to Flanagan

May 12, 2015

New State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan may be from Long Island but two local senators say he has been a frequent visitor to Western New York.

Flanagan may also understand UB issues since he has a son there now.

Clarence Republican Senator Mike Ranzenhofer said the new Senate majority leader has made many visits to this area and the far corners of his district. At the same time, the senator says he backed an Upstate candidate for the top post, presumably Syracuse Senator John DeFrancisco.

State Senator Michael Ranzehofer.
Credit WBFO News file photo

"The last week was an absolute massive, confused and dysfunctional period. Nothing took place for a week,' Ranzenhofer said.

"I believe that that was settled today and we will return to the business of passing bills and getting things done."

Both Ranzenhofer and North Tonawanda Republican Rob Ortt point to Flanagan's long service as chair of the Education Committee as important because schools are so important in their districts, with the new majority leader in Niagara County earlier this year for a meeting with school superintendents and school board members at Ortt's request.

"We have to go forward," Ortt said.  "There are a lot of big issues facing my constituents, facing New York State. And, we have some real work to do. "

Both said the closing month of the legislative session will likely be dominated by education issues like teacher evaluation and testing.