FlanaganerFrom the Morning Memo:

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan remains opposed to having the Legislature evolve into a full-time institution that bans outside income for its members.

Flanagan, in his first public comments since the guilty verdict of former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, told reporters in Utica on Tuesday that it’s important to have diverse voices elected to Albany.

“We are ostensibly supposed to have, or legally supposed to have, a citizen Legislature or a part-time Legislature,” Flanagan said. “I want the people with a depth of background. I think it’s useful to have people from varying walks of life.”

Silver, the former Assembly speaker, was found guilty of having used his power to arrange for legal referral fees that prosecutors contended were actually bribes.

He was found guilty on all seven counts he was charged with, including money laundering and extortion.

Creating a full-time Legislature is backed by the minority leader in the Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, as well as at least one member of the Senate Republican conference, John Bonacic.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged the Republican opposition to the proposal on Tuesday, even as he called the idea itself “intriguing.”

“I think it’s something worth talking about,” he said. “It’s very controversial. The constitution speaks to a citizen Legislature and a part-time Legislature. There are a lot of people who don’t want full-time legislators and full-time politicians.”

The verdict in the Silver case — the latest in string of lawmakers being booted from office following corruption arrests — isn’t spurring lawmakers back to Albany for the moment, however (Flanagan ascended to the majority leader post in May after the arrest of Sen. Dean Skelos in a separate case; that trial continues this month in federal court).

“I don’t think we need a special session,” Flanagan said. “I’ve said that all along. I think we’ll have very detailed conversations on ethics, potential reform. We’ll probably revisit the things we’ve done already.”

As for the Silver case itself, Flanagan said “justice was served.”

“I’m disheartened by all of this because I believe it has a negative effect across the board and I believe it’s time to focus very clearly on behalf of the work of the people we represent,” he said.

He added: “I don’t think it should be lost on anyone we have already enacted significant reform. There are people being indicted, being arrested and being convcited based on the laws we already have in place.”