ALBANY - The Assembly leadership will change slightly for 2019 with a new majority leader from Buffalo and a deputy speaker from Queens, both of whom are women, according to an announcement Tuesday by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Assmb. Catherine Nolan (D-Queens), the longtime Education Committee chairwoman, was promoted to deputy speaker. She replaces Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead), who lost her re-election bid in November. After 30 years in officer Hooper was beaten by community activist Taylor Raynor, a Democrat. Two other Long Island legislators moved up in the shuffle.
Among Long Islanders:
-Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Habor) was named chairman of the Local Governments Committee. He moves up from chair of the Small Business Committee.
-- Assemb. Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont) was named head of the Task Force on Farm, Food and Nutrition, a new assignment for her.
-- Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) was re-named deputy majority leader.
-- Assmb. Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) was re-named chairman of the Elections Committee.
-Assemb. Stephen Englebright (D-Setauket) will remain chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee.
On Monday, Heastie announced that Assmb. Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) will be the new majority leader, the chamber’s No. 2 position. Stokes succeeds Joseph Morrelle of Rochester, who was elected to Congress this year,
Among other key appointments:
-Assemb. Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx) was named Education Committee chairman to succeed Nolan.
-Assmb. Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn) will remain chairwoman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee through which most legislative must be approved.
-Assmb. Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn ) was renamed assistant speaker.
-Assmb. Jeffrion Aubry (D-Queens) will remain speaker pro tempore and will continue to conduct most daily legislative sessions.