Sheldon Silver to Resign as Speaker: Potential Candidates On The Horizon

The Democratic Caucus in the NYS Assembly has decided that it no longer has confidence in Speaker Sheldon Silver. Speaker Silver will most likely step down today as Speaker, and most likely as a member of the NYS Assembly, according to an unnamed Assembly member.

The two potential candidates to succeed Silver are Bronx Assemblyman and Bronx Democratic County Chair Carl Heastie and Assemblyman Joseph Morelle who is presently NYS Assembly Majority Leader. Morelle represents the 136th Assembly District in upstate New York.

Carl E. Heastie represents the 83rd A.D. in the Bronx and was first elected in 2000. Assemblymember Heastie is also chairman of the Assembly Labor Committee.

Since taking office, Assemblyman Heastie has become one of the leading advocates for the construction of the new schools in his district. In addition, he has secured funds for housing, education, after-school programming, health and human services, jobs readiness and computer training within his district. Assemblymember Heastie was the prime sponsor of the Wage Theft Prevention Act which provided stiffer penalties for employers that steal wages from employees. Heastie also a law that prohibited the sale of Nico-water to children under 18 years old. He also authored a law to help victims of domestic violence be released from lease obligations if it is found that remaining in the residence would keep the victim in a dangerous environment. Assemblyman Heastie was a principal negotiator securing an increase in the minimum wage that will take effect January 1, 2014. Additionally, Assemblyman Heastie was able to work toward increases in unemployment insurance, which had been stagnant since 1998.

Prior to taking office, Assembly Member Heastie served as a budget analyst in the New York City Comptroller’s office where he researched, prepared and authored reports on the City’s spending patterns. This experience in budget analysis is one of the strongest skills Assemblyman Heastie brings to the New York State Legislature.
Assemblyman Heastie is second to none when it comes to his ability to evaluate numbers. This skill was honed at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he earned a Bachelors of Science in applied Mathematics and Statistics, which he followed up with an MBA in Finance from the Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY). Throughout his academic career, Assembly Member Heastie has shown an immense love and enthusiasm for math. Assemblyman Heastie is a member of the Williams Bridge Branch NAACP, National Council of Negro Women and Grace Baptist Church.

 

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle, D-Irondequoit, was elected to the Assembly in 1990 after serving six years in the Monroe County Legislature. He has authored more than 200 laws and served as chair of the Assembly’s standing committees on Insurance, Tourism, Small Business and Ethics.

In January 2013, Joe was honored to be appointed Majority Leader of the Assembly by Speaker Sheldon Silver. As Majority Leader, Joe is responsible for the day-to-day operational duties of the Assembly chamber including running the floor during debates. In addition, Joe is a member of the Rules Committee. During his tenure in the Assembly, Assemblyman Morelle has established himself as a leader on critical issues including job creating, public safety and providing accessible and affordable health care for hard-working families.

A former small business owner himself, Assemblyman Morelle is especially recognized for his commitment to promoting job growth and opportunity for New Yorkers. In 2005 he published a widely-acclaimed report, Creating a State of Innovation: Unleashing the Power of New York’s Entrepreneurial Economy, in which he proposed solutions to the state’s many economic challenges. He has authored millions in business tax cuts and credits and fought to reduce regulatory bureaucracy for small businesses.

Assemblyman Morelle sponsored New York’s milestone autism health insurance law requiring carriers to cover the cost of autism screening and treatment, and has advanced legislation protecting senior citizens from criminal exploitation and abuse. He has led the effort to reform managed care in New York and make life insurance carriers more accountable with respect to paying policy beneficiaries.

Always an advocate for law enforcement, Assemblyman Morelle has consistently backed the expansion of the state’s DNA criminal database and stricter rules regarding the tracking of sexual offenders. Early in his tenure he also successfully fought for a law increasing penalties for those who bring loaded guns onto schools.