Capitol Notes

Hinchey gets agriculture in Senate committee shakeup

Freshman Sen. Michelle Hinchey is getting a plum committee assignment in her first year on the job.

The Ulster County Democrat has been named chair of the chamber’s agriculture committee by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, according to the party’s roster of committee chair assignments, which are largely unchanged since the Democrats assumed the majority in 2019. Hinchey takes over for Jen Metzger, who narrowly lost her seat in November.

The former Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, which had been chaired by outgoing Sen. David Carlucci, has been split in two, with freshman Sen. Samra Brouk getting mental health and Sen. John Mannion getting developmental disabilities.

The chamber’s Cities Committee is also being divided, with Sen. Robert Jackson retaining a New York City specific committee and freshman Sen. Jeremy Cooney taking over a cities committee representing all other cities.

A new procurement committee has been carved up for freshman Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick to lead and freshman Sen. Sean Ryan, who once led the libraries committee in the Assembly, will take over the newly formulated counterpart in the Senate.

Sen. Jabari Brisport, who succeeded retiring Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, will also take over her committee on children and families.

The stability on the Senate will likely not be copied by the Assembly, where losses by a handful of senior members will probably start a game of committee musical chairs. The Assembly Democrats need to replace the chairs of the committees on Codes and Labor and a senior leadership position.

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