Assemblyman Mickey Kearns may be leaving Albany behind to head the Erie County Clerk's Office, but he says there's one passion project he's not giving up just yet.

Kearns is one of the leaders of the movement to stop the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center from merging with the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.

The legislature passed a bill to prevent the merger, but the governor has yet to sign it.

Kearns says he expects Sen. Pat Gallivan to send the legislation to Cuomo's office soon.

He's hopeful this process could get started during the time it takes to certify the results of this week's election.

"We're at the end, and we put so much time and effort into it, if we were able to get the bill in the next couple weeks to the governor, he either has to sign the bill, veto the bill, or do nothing, and it becomes law," said Kearns.

A deputy press secretary with the governor's office says both the matters of starting the process to fill Kearns' seat and possibly signing the bill to save the center are under review.

On Thursday, State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Panepinto denied a motion by Cuomo and Office of Mental Health Commissioner Ann Sullivan to dismiss the lawsuit made by Save Our Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center Coalition.

An attorney for the group says it filed a notice of entry Thursday afternoon.

The state now has 30 days to respond.