Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that legislation he authored to allow City courts to run operations at night for non-violent cases, such as traffic offenses, has passed the Assembly (A.9375-A). This bill, which has bipartisan support, would apply to cities with populations of 250,000 or less.
Last year, the state authorized an additional judge for the city of Schenectady (Ch. 548 of 2013). This law, however, did not account for how the judge would be accommodated, causing the city to consider creating additional space. By opening courts at night, Schenectady would no longer need to build a new courtroom, potentially saving the city $1 million in construction costs.1
“This is common sense legislation to deal with Schenectady getting another judge, and figuring out the best way to fit the personnel with the space they have,” said Assemblymember Steck. “Allowing cities to have court when it is best for residents, and not have to pay for new construction is a win-win. This bill would help save money and provide more convenient judicial services at the same.”
In addition, Steck pointed out that citizens should not have to miss work to attend Court for cases of this nature. “Sometimes the Court system needs to be more accommodating to the public.”