Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced today that he has appointed Blake G. Washington to serve as secretary to the Ways and Means Committee and he has appointed Philip Fields to serve as director of Budget Studies.
"I am pleased to announce the appointment of Blake Washington as secretary to the Ways and Means Committee and Philip Fields as the director of Budget Studies. Mr. Washington and Mr. Fields have been an integral part of the Assembly's fiscal team for many years and both possess a tremendous wealth of knowledge on fiscal and programmatic issues," said Heastie. "As we make our preparations for the SFY 2015-16 budget negotiations, I am confident that we have selected two of the most skilled individuals to guide us as we uphold our commitment to fight for a budget that prioritizes the needs of working families across our great state."
Washington began his career with the Ways and Means Committee as a legislative budget analyst. He also served as a senior and principal budget analyst until being appointed director of Budget Studies. Prior to joining the Assembly staff, he served as a probation officer in Sullivan County. He earned a master's degree in Criminal Justice and a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the State University at Albany.
Fields most recently served as deputy fiscal director for the Assembly. Prior to that, he served as senior transportation analyst for the Ways and Means Committee, senior analyst for the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, and analyst for the Real Property Taxation Committee. Fields is the deputy chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. He currently chairs the County Rules Committee as well as the County Ways and Means Committee. He earned master's and bachelor's degrees in Economics from the State University at Albany.