Capitol Watch: A more diverse Legislature, early actions

January 12, 2019 - 12:28 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York government news, an increasingly diverse state Legislature is back in Albany for its 2019 session, the first in the state's history with African-Americans holding the top leadership posts in both the Assembly and the Senate.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat, formally became Senate majority leader when the Legislature convened this past week. She's the first woman to hold the post. Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, was elected Assembly speaker for the third time.

Heastie mentioned in his session-opening speech that women hold 50 of the 150 seats in his Democrat-controlled chamber. Also, women now hold three of the Assembly's top four leadership positions.

Meanwhile, some of the year's top issues — including voting reforms — are expected to be on the Legislature's agenda this week.

Associated Press writer David Klepper contributed to this report.

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