ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The Republican minority leader in the New York state Senate will miss the start of the 2019 session as he seeks help with alcohol dependency.
John Flanagan of Long Island made the announcement on Friday. Flanagan had been the leader of the Senate until Democrats won the majority in November. He first announced that he had sought help with alcohol back in 2017.
He said he recently recognized the need for additional help and is determined to focus on his health for himself and his family. He is expected back in Albany in a few weeks.
Sen. Joseph Griffo of Rome will fill in as the GOP leader while Flanagan is away.
One of his other colleagues, Sen. Catharine Young, commended Flanagan for showing courage in confronting his problem.