Friend Named Ranking Minority Member Of Assembly Children and Families Committee

January 21, 2011

Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R- Big Flats) will be the ranking Minority Member on the Committee on Children and Families. Friend also will be a member of the Energy; Health; Tourism, Arts and Sports Development; and Housing committees. As a ranking minority member, he will help steer legislation to the floor that is beneficial to 137th Assembly District.

“I am honored to be named the ranking Minority member on the Children and Families Committee,” said Friend. “As a father I care very deeply about the issues facing children. I am excited to work for policies that will protect the well-being of children and support the family structure. This committee provides me with a great opportunity to influence policy that I personally take very seriously.”

The Children and Families Committee deals with a litany of issues including child welfare, foster care, preventative services, child abuse and neglect, runaways, day care, adoption, juvenile justice, youth development, and delinquency-prevention programs. Among the committee’s responsibilities are the procedures of family courts as well as other programs affecting families throughout the state. The committee oversees programs administered by the Department of Family Assistance (DFA), which includes the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

“The committees I was appointed to allow me to actively pursue issues that are both important and meaningful for the people I represent,” said Friend. “As a member of the Energy Committee I will be in a position to more effectively push New York toward less costly, yet environmentally friendly and business-friendly energy policies. I also will have an active role in policies concerning health care, Medicaid costs, and housing policy as a member of both the committees on Health and Housing.”

The Energy Committee has authority over legislation regarding energy availability and resources, energy policy and planning, the conservation of energy, and electric, and gas rate making in New York State. They also encourage a movement toward competition in electric generation and energy supply as well a commitment to energy conservation. The Health Committee oversees the Department of Health, the AIDS Institute, the State Public Health Council, the Hospital Review and Planning Council, and the state’s Medicaid program. Housing Committee members can expect to be active in the areas of housing development and preservation along with rent regulation. The Tourism committee considers legislation aimed at invigorating tourism, culture, recreation, and sports.

“I am truly excited to begin committee work,” said Friend. “As a representative of the 137th Assembly District, I plan to work hard for the needs of my constituents in all of my committees either as a voice of strong support for bills, or as a loyal, but outspoken, dissenter.”