Senate Skips Family Court Bill

ALBANY—One bill on the State Senate's agenda for today didn't make it: a measure that would have created 21 new family court judgeships around the state.

"It was disappointing. I think we had great hope because it was sponsored by the chair of the judiciary, which was John Sampson, who has a great understanding of the needs of family court," said Dennis Hawkins, executive director of the Fund for Modern Courts, which is lobbying for the measure. "Having seen it as one of the few bills that made it onto today's Senate agenda, we were hopeful that with Senator Sampson's support, that it would be passed."

The measure has not passed the Assembly, and it wasn't defeated—it was simply laid aside for the day.

"We didn't have a count," Hawkins said. "I think that they just didn't have sufficient number of votes. You know, the majority is so slim that if even one or two Democrats are not backing it, you need some Republican. We basically lobbied everybody, and thought there was support from upstate and downstate in both Republican and Democratic areas."

Sampson's spokeswoman Selvena Brooks did not immediately have an explanation why the bill was laid aside.

Senate Skips Family Court Bill