Controversial $23M judges hotel on hold

The state has halted construction on a planned, $23 million hotel for judges in Albany after budget cuts and a bout of controversy. According to the Daily News, the project, which would have built apartments for the seven justices of the state’s Court of Appeals and new offices for the Law Reporting Bureau, is suspended at least through the end of the fiscal year, in March 2012, because “in the context of the times, it did not look like the best thing to be doing,” according to a spokesperson for the court, which is only in session for 66 days per year. Local hotel stays for the judges cost taxpayers around $37,000 annually. The project had come under scrutiny earlier this year when news got out that Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman had been opposed to Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget cuts. The court system’s budget was ultimately cut by $170 million, and this week, the first wave of what is expected to be hundreds of layoffs was announced. [NYDN]

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