senate1From the Morning Memo:

Senators returning to Albany in January will find a surprise waiting for them at the LOB and in the Capitol, compliments of Majority Leader John Flanagan: Brand new office furniture.

According to a memo sent to all senators – Democrats and Republicans alike – last month, Flanagan has decided it’s time for an upgrade of the outdated couches, chairs, desks and other trappings of lawmakers’ offices, which, apparently, have not been replaced for some time.

“As most of you know, the Empire State Plaza just celebrated its 50th anniversary. What most of you may not know, however, is that much of our furniture was purchased at the same time,” the memo, sent on Sept. 22, reads.

“Unfortunately, the furnishings are not faring quite as well as the Plaza has. Our staff has done an amazing job with the upkeep of these outdated items. However, there comes a point when it is more expensive to repair or re-upholster items then it is to replace them.”

“You may have also noticed that as manufacturers have discontinued many fabrics and textiles, it has left us with pieces that no longer match each other.”

According to the memo, the new furniture – select pieces in a “timeless and classic” style – will be purchased from a state contract issued by the Office of General Services. Delivery is to start next month, and should be complete by the end of the year.

Senators have the option to have – on a limited basis – some of their current furniture delivered to their district offices, and they are also being asked to identify charitable organizations to which items they decide to replace can be donated.

The bulk of the Albany furniture will be donated to the Veteran’s Miracle Center.

The memo does not mention the cost of this project.

But a Senate spokesman noted that under GOP leadership, the chamber has routinely come in under budget every year since 2011 on. And even after the purchase of this brand new furniture, the GOP expects to still have a surplus of $2.5 million this year.