- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Carl Heastie of the Bronx has been re-elected Speaker of the New York state Assembly.

The Bronx Democrat was re-elected by the Assembly’s Democratic majority on Tuesday during a gathering in Albany.

Heastie was first tapped to be speaker last year when he replaced longtime Speaker Sheldon Silver following Silver’s arrest on corruption charges. Silver was later convicted.

Heastie is the first African American to hold the powerful position.

The 2017 legislative session gets underway next month. Heastie says Democrats will focus on improving education and housing programs, protecting vulnerable populations, defending civil rights and helping working families.

Lawmakers are now in talks about convening a special session this month focused on a possible pay raise for lawmakers, who now make $79,500 a year.

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