By David Brand
Four Queens state senators, including two freshmen, were picked to chair committees or subcommittees in the upcoming legislative session when Senate Democrats take control of the chamber for the first time in nearly a decade.
State Senator-elect Jessica Ramos will chair the Labor Committee, where she said she plans to focus on workers’ rights, labor organizing and the wage gap.
“Income inequality is the challenge of our time and collective bargaining the people’s weapon of choice. Work binds us together, raises families, and builds communities,” said Ramos, who defeated the late-State Sen. Jose Peralta in the Democratic primary. “As incoming Chair of the Senate Labor Committee, I want to make it abundantly clear that our mission is to harness and strengthen worker power. We will lift the floor and we will swell the ranks – protecting our immigrants, working moms, and every New Yorker.”
State Senator-elect John Liu, the other Queens freshman, will chair the New York City Education Subcommittee. Liu is a the former New York City Comptroller.
State Sen. Leroy Comrie will chair the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee and State Sen. Joseph Addabbo will chair the Gaming, Racing and Wagering Committee.
Addabbo said the role is a fitting one since the Aqueduct Race Track and Resorts World Casino are both located in his district.
“Having served as the ranking Democratic member of this committee for a number of years now, I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead this panel, and to help shape the future of the racing, gaming and wagering industries in New York State,” Addabbo said.
Michael Gianaris, the other Queens State Senator, chairs Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and was named Deputy Senate Majority Leader. In his role as second in command of the Senate Democrats, Gianaris can serve on any committee he chooses, City & State reported.