Tkaczyk Accepts Leadership Role on Important Senate Committees

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk (D-46th S.D.) has been appointed the Ranking Democratic Member on two legislative committees -- Elections and Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. She will also serve as a member of four other Senate committees – Education, Agriculture, Environmental Conservation and Children and Families.

“I am very excited to have received every committee assignment I requested,” Tkaczyk said. “And I’m especially pleased to have a leadership role on two committees that will be responsible for shaping extremely important legislation and policy in the months ahead.”

Reform of the New York’s archaic campaign finance laws was a key component of Tkaczyk’s successful election campaign.  Tkaczyk wants to change the laws to prevent New York candidates from receiving large donations from secretive, out of state shadow groups with anonymous benefactors.

She favors public financing of campaigns, which would remove the influence of big money and allow more people the opportunity to run for office and wage an effective campaign. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Governor Cuomo and many members of the legislature who support major reform of campaign finance practices in this new capacity,” she said.

In addition to campaign finance reform, Senator Tkaczyk will work to review and change laws that allow a voter’s ballot to be cast aside because of harmless technical errors. In her recent election, hundreds of ballots remained uncounted, although no voter fraud was alleged or proven.

Additionally, the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities will consider several elements of the governor’ proposed 2012-2013 budget. “I applaud the governor for keeping the mental hygiene budget stable, and will work to ensure that any savings found in system restructuring continue to serve the vast and growing needs of the people served by OMH and OPWDD,” she added.

With her background in housing, Senator Tkaczyk also hopes to work on the issues of homelessness and appropriate housing for people living with mental illnesses.

As a farmer, Tkaczyk was pleased with her appointments to the Agriculture and Environmental Conservation committees. As vice-president of the Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her assignment on the Education Committee. And as a mother, she is looking forward to serving on the Committee on Children and Families.

“I am grateful that Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has confidence in my ability to serve as an effective member of these important committees,” Tkaczyk said.