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Panepinto sworn in as State Senator

courtesy of Sen. Panepinto's office

Republicans may have a solid majority in the State Senate but this area's newest Senate Democrat says he can work across the aisle and get things done.

Marc Panepinto was sworn in yesterday locally and he will be sworn in again tomorrow with all senators as the new Legislature opens. The Buffalo Democrat says he's something of an anomaly to most downstaters as a progressive state legislator in an area with few of them. He says that orientation shows in his support for further increases in the state's minimum wage.

Panepinto says he expects some heat because he favors cutting the number of campuses of Erie Community College.

"We need to consolidate, if not down from three to one, at least three to two," Panepinto said.

"The most valuable property that exists in the ECC system is the property in the Town of Amherst. And, if we can leverage those buildings and that property into resources that can expand the campus in Buffalo and Orchard Park, I think we should try and do that.'

Panepinto says re-apportionment line drawing means he represents ECC South but not ECC City. He says there are a lot of issues for local state legislators to work on across party lines like the Waterfront which won't anger powerful Downstate interests.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.