Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today appointed Assemblyman Joseph M. Morelle (D-Irondequoit) to serve as majority leader.
"Joe has made tremendous contributions to the Assembly Majority over the last two decades. Given his strength of character, proven leadership abilities and loyalty to this institution, I have every confidence that he will ably guide the work of the Assembly with integrity and respect," said Silver.
Morelle was first elected to the Assembly in 1990 and has authored more than 200 laws. He currently serves as chair of the Insurance Committee and previously chaired the Assembly's standing committees on Tourism, Small Business, and Ethics. He currently holds positions on the Ways and Means, Rules, Economic Development, and Higher Education committees.
"I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as Majority Leader of this great Body, and grateful to Speaker Silver for his friendship and extraordinary leadership. I look forward to the year ahead and to working hard on behalf of all New Yorkers," said Morelle.
He has focused much of his tenure on issues related to economic growth and job development, crime prevention, affordable health care, and veterans. He helped to deliver tax cuts and credits to businesses throughout the state. He was the sponsor of legislation increasing penalties for carrying a loaded weapon on school grounds as well as New York's milestone autism health insurance law which requires carriers to cover the cost of autism screening and treatment. He has consistently advanced legislation that protects senior citizens from criminal exploitation and abuse.
A former small business owner, he previously served as a member of the Monroe County Legislature. He earned a bachelor's degree from SUNY Geneseo.
The majority leader is responsible for the day-to-day operational duties of the Assembly chamber including running the floor during debates.