Michelle Hinchey Sworn in as New York State Senator, Announces Committee Assignments and Legislative Priorities for the 2021 Session

Albany, NY...On the first day of the 2021 state legislative session, Senator Michelle Hinchey (SD-46) announced her Senate committee assignments, which include areas of longtime advocacy and local priority. The freshman senator has been appointed Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and will serve on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Energy and Telecommunications, Environmental Conservation, and Local Government committees. Senator Hinchey took her Oath of Office in late December in a small ceremony held in Albany. A virtual district-wide ceremony is scheduled for January 23, 2021.

“Joining the State Senate as one of only a handful of members representing communities in Upstate New York is an incredible honor. Our most important resource is our people, and I look forward to being a strong voice for residents of the 46th District and to fighting for the region that raised me,” said Senator Hinchey. “As we look to improve the resilience of our communities in the New Year, we need to recognize agriculture—our oldest and most enduring sector—as a strong pillar for New York’s economic recovery and essential to the preservation of our natural resources. We are so fortunate in New York State to produce a range of high-quality, locally grown foods alongside a flourishing farm-based craft beverage industry; I see enormous opportunity to expand markets for these homegrown goods to the benefit of our farm businesses and to our upstate economy. As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am committed to doing all that I can to keep New York a vibrant agricultural state and ensure that our farmers and producers always have a seat at the table.”

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee said, “I was delighted to learn that Senator Hinchey will Chair the Senate Agriculture Committee. In a district rich with farms, restaurants, craft beverage producers and more, I know she will be a strong partner in advocating for New York’s agricultural and food systems. We have a lot of work ahead of us, helping farmers recover from devastating losses, while building the system back stronger.”

Mike Barcone, co-owner and operator of West Kill Brewing in Lexington said, “Senator Hinchey truly understands just how important our craft beverage industry is to New York’s agricultural sector and as a powerful engine of employment and economic growth to our upstate economy as a whole. It’s heartening to witness Senator Hinchey’s genuine excitement for the industry and I know that she will continue to be in our corner as Senate Agriculture Chair.”

“At Longfield Farm, we know that sustainability and agriculture go hand in hand,” said Gary Kleppel of Longfield Farm in Knox. “When we took over this small family farm over twenty years ago we immediately went to work to create a farm that is healthy starting from the soil on up. I am excited that Senator Hinchey is assuming the role of Senate Agriculture Chair because she understands the important role that farms like ours can play in promoting a healthy environment while providing great food to the people of our state. I know she’ll be a strong advocate for the future of farming and will help support the numerous small and family-owned farms like mine in her district and across New York State.”

In a Democratic Majority Conference primarily composed of urban and suburban districts, Senator Hinchey will serve as a much-needed voice for the upstate communities in her five-county district, which includes all of Greene and Montgomery counties and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster counties in the Capital, Mohawk Valley and Hudson Valley regions.

“These committee assignments represent areas of significant importance to everyone across the 46th Senate District. I look forward to working with my colleagues to deliver the quality-of-life-changing improvements our upstate communities need and deserve. By protecting our environment, fighting the opioid epidemic, expanding broadband access and building back our Main Streets, we will create the conditions so that every individual has the opportunity to thrive,” said Senator Hinchey. “With the right policies and investments, we can arm our region with the tools to spur innovation, create good-paying local jobs, and overcome the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our way.”

Looking ahead to the 2021 session, Hinchey’s priorities include sustaining our small business sector and advancing Main Street revitalization efforts; investing in local infrastructure projects to help fortify our roads, bridges, and water systems; expanding affordable and reliable access to broadband service; elevating state efforts to ensure strong worker protections and draw deeper connections between our unions, public high schools and BOCES institutions; positioning Upstate New York as a hub for renewable energy invention and encouraging growth industries that will create local jobs; expanding access to mental health services and substance use treatment and prevention; and making sure our first responders have the resources they need to keep our communities healthy and safe.

Senator Michelle Hinchey represents the 46th Senate District, which includes Greene and Montgomery counties, and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster counties. Senator Hinchey serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Energy and Telecommunications, Environmental Conservation, and Local Government committees.