Following the retirement of Herman “Denny” Farrell, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie appointed Helene Weinstein as the chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, making history as the first woman to chair the committee.
“One of the longest serving members of the Assembly, Helene has made immeasurable contributions to the residents of New York state,” Heastie said. “Her vast experience in the People’s House and extensive knowledge of the state budget process will guide the Assembly Majority as we continue to pursue our Families First agenda.”
The Ways and Means Committee’s primary responsibility involves all matters pertaining to the adoption of a state budget. In addition, the committee has jurisdiction over all legislation introduced in the Assembly that would impact spending or revenues at the state or local level.
“It is my privilege to accept the chairmanship of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee,” Weinstein said. “As the first woman to chair this committee I am humbled by the historic opportunity to lend new perspective and solutions to the needs facing our families and communities. I have always believed that diversity in leadership is critical to achieving a government that is both inclusive and responsive to today’s challenges. Working together over the years, the Assembly has made tremendous strides in improving the quality of life and economic opportunities for all New Yorkers and I know that we have much more to do.”
Weinstein, who represents the Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, Flatlands and East Flatbush communities in Brooklyn, was first elected to the Assembly in 1980. She is the first woman to chair the Assembly Judiciary Committee, a position she has held since 1994.
“I am proud that I have been chosen to succeed former Assemblyman Denny Farrell, a true legend who guided the Assembly Ways and Means Committee for many years with great skill,” Weinstein continued. “I want to thank Speaker Heastie for this honor and I look forward to working with all my Assembly colleagues and partners in government in this new role.”
Weinstein currently sits on the Aging, Codes and Rules committees. She has been a member of the Ways and Means Committee since 1993. She previously served as the chair of the Assembly Committees on Governmental Employees and Election Law, as well as the Task Forces on Women’s Issues and on Food, Farm and Nutrition. She also served as the chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus.
Weinstein earned a law degree from the New England School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from American University.