"I am honored to be named Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Services. As I take on this new challenge, I look forward to continuing the vision that Senator Velmanette Montgomery and I have established for the Committee over the past year: offering support to those who need it most, in immediate crisis and through the long term. In this economy, New Yorkers are struggling more than ever. We must protect the safety net, and invest in jobs, families, and long-term skills, while making our state government more efficient, effective, and accountable. These goals are particularly vital as we make do with increasingly limited resources.
"I would also like to recognize Senator Montgomery for her leadership of the Committee this past year. As Vice-Chair, I have learned a great deal from our collaboration, including our work on jobs programs, on homeless policy, and on family services. This year, among other accomplishments, Senator Montgomery and I were proud to fund the Nurse Family Partnership Program on a state-wide level for the first time; significantly increase funding for wage subsidy and job training programs including the Green Jobs Corps Program, the Transitional Jobs Program, the Health Care Jobs Program, the Wage Subsidy Program, and the Career Pathways Program; work to draw down federal funding for vital public assistance programs; support the Summer Youth Employment Program; fund support services that help prevent homelessness; secure funding for the Settlement House Initiative; prevent cuts to the state share of Supplemental Security Income; and increase the public assistance grant – bringing much-needed help to the poorest New Yorkers – for the first time since 1990.
“The Committee also passed vital legislation, including a bill that limits housing costs for certain public assistance recipients living with HIV and AIDS, a bill that allows struggling families to balance their budgets by repaying energy bills over a longer time, and a bill that provides public assistance applicants with information about sexual assault support services. I look forward to continuing my partnership with Senator Montgomery as she carries on her role as the Chair of the Children and Family Services Committee."