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Source: Capitol Confidential

Full house for EnCon hearing

BY RICK KARLIN, CAPITOL BUREAU

Posted: January 28, 2015
Originally Published: January 28, 2015

I’m getting different opinions on this but one thing is for sure: Wednesday morning’s Environmental Conservation budget hearing has a full house of not only Senators but Assembly members.

Some say the EnCon hearings are always well attended, given the prominence and interest in the issue but others have said it’s unusual to see so many lawmakers on the dais which is full.

The subtext is obvious here. Assembly Democrats, fresh off their move to oust embattled Speaker Sheldon Silver, and following two days worth of cancelled sessions, are sending a message that they are still functioning even as the question of leadership is in flux.

Notably, some of the candidates, or Assembly members who want to be speaker are here as well as two legislators, Deborah Glick and Steve Englebright, who are said to be interested in chairing the Assembly environmental committee since former chairman Bob Sweeney’s retirement.

DEC Chairman Joe Martens is testifying — he’s been up for more than 90 minutes and others scheduled to talk, according to a press release include Rose Harvey, Parks Commissioner; Ag and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball; and NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes.

Also on tap is testimony from Kelly Young, deputy director, Public Policy, New York Farm Bureau; Laura Ten Eyck, senior manager, NY Project and Outreach, American Farmland Trust; Lance Robson, chairman, NYS Fish and Wildlife Management Board; Charles Parker, president, NYS Conservation Council, Inc.; Jessica Ottney Mahar, director, Government Affairs, The Nature Conservancy; and Sean Mahar, director, Government Affairs, Audubon New York.

Additionally, Willie Janeway, executive director, Adirondack Council; William Cooke, director, Government Relations, Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Laura DiBetta, director, Parks Program and Government Relations, Parks and Trails New York; and Michael Dulong, staff attorney, Riverkeeper are expected to speak.