Pheffer Amato named chair of key Assembly committee

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato received a standing ovation from her colleague after she was sworn in for her fourth term in Albany. (QNS/File)

With her protracted post-election odyssey in the rearview mirror, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato is back in Albany, where she was selected to play a key role in the governance of New York.

Pheffer Amato has been appointed as the new chairwoman of the Governmental Employee Committee, the leading legislative authority on all public employees across the state, including retirees. Pheffer Amato will preside over and facilitate legislation and policies for public employees that range in pensions, retirement benefits, and health insurance.

“I am honored and thrilled to chair this committee and thank Speaker [Carl] Heastie for his remarkable dedication to our State’s public employees,” Pheffer Amato said. “I appreciate all the confidence and support from our public employee unions throughout our State, cities, and countries. I look forward to leading this Committee and supporting legislation for our public employees and their families.”

She is the second woman to be appointed chair of the panel in the history of New York state.

“I am proud to have appointed Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato to serve as chair of the Committee on Governmental Employees,” Heastie said. “She has always been an invaluable asset to the Assembly Majority and New Yorkers, and I know that as chair of the Governmental as Employees Committee, she will be a tireless champion for the hard-working men and women of this state.”

The assemblywoman’s appointment was supported by numerous public employee unions throughout the state.

“Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato is no stranger to the issues affecting front-line civil servants, especially the women and men who protect New York City,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. “We look forward to continuing to work with her to ensure that New York City police officers receive fair treatment under the law and the equitable benefits we have worked for and earned.”

Pheffer Amato has represented Assembly District 23 in south Queens since 2017, but her race against Republican challenger Thomas Sullivan of Breezy Point took nearly two months to determine after lawsuits and a manual recount. In the end, Pheffer Amato edged Sullivan by just 15 votes after nearly 32,000 were cast in the general election.

New York State Public Employee Federation President Wayne Spence applauded her appointment as chair of the key panel.

“During her tenure in the NYS Assembly, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato has been an extremely important and effective advocate for PEF’s 50,000 members and all workers,” he said. “PEF is very pleased that our long-time friend and ally has been appointed Chair of the NYS Assembly Governmental Employees Committee. We look forward to working with her and her team to advance the interests of working people and all New Yorkers.”

New York State Public Employee Conference chair Peter Meringolo noted that Pheffer Amato is uniquely qualified for the leadership of the key committee.

“Having served on the Governmental Employees Committee since her first election, Stacey has demonstrated staunch advocacy for public employees,” Meringolo said. “Her ascendance to the Chair reinforces our confidence in the commitment of Speaker Heastie that the needs of our more than one million active and retired members will be addressed favorably.”