In Albany, legislators know their time is over when one thing happens: their leather chair is rolled off the floor of the Senate or Assembly chamber.
So went the way of Sen. Dale Volker's dark brown chair shortly after 2 p.m. today when a maintenance worker unceremoniously -– meaning no one else was around other than a reporter just passing by -– moved it from the ornate chamber and down into the Capitol's basement.
Volker, a Depew Republican, has been in the Senate 35 years. He decided to retire this year from Albany, a place he began serving in 1973 following his election to the Assembly before joining the Senate in 1975.
By tradition -– and by the state's finance law -– retiring lawmakers can purchase their Senate chairs for $25. No word on what was happening with Volker's chair, but his name tag was already taken off its back.
Even with the departure of Volker's chair, that has not stopped speculation of the Senate returning one more time this year to wrap up some unfinished business (mostly dealing with a reorganization bill of a state-owned off-track betting corporation).