With the new GOP regime in control of the State Senate, there's also a new person who is next in line after Governor David Paterson. That would be Senate president pro tempore Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx). And since any trips that Paterson would make out of the state—even to NJ—would put Espada in power, Paterson is staying put. The governor told reporters today, "I would not plan on the leaving the state right now. Right now, if there's any type of misunderstanding or who is next in charge, I would think the best thing for me to do is to stay here."
When asked whether minority leader Malcom Smith should remain in control as the majority leader, a position that has now shifted to Republican Dean Skelos, PolitickerNY reports that Paterson said, "Senator Smith was elected by his colleagues for a two-year term. I think, right now, was not a time to interfere with that leadership. I don't know why, if there were problems, they weren't discussed. Maybe they were. I just don't think this was the time to resolve that issue. If the Senate has an issue about who its leader should be, I don't object to that. I object to it happening now when the people need us to be doing their business right here in Albany."
Right now, Espada and Skelos are trying to rid the Senate chamber of Senate Secretary Angelo Aponte (the Daily Politics has details on why they hate him, but in a nutshell, Aponte was/is Smith's "enforcer"). You see, Aponte, according to Capitol Confidential, "literally, holds the keys to the Senate chamber," which prompted Espada to say the Senate will meet outside of the chamber if Aponte doesn't give up the keys. To add to the mess, Capitol Confidential adds, "My co-worker Jim Odato just spoke with some senators and learned that Aponte was given a two-year appointment during the session, which could be hard to undo."