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A chair leaves the Senate

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).

--Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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