- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee, one of the most important and powerful legislative panels in New York state government, is getting its first female leader.

Sen. Catharine Young was announced as the new committee chairwoman on Wednesday by Senate Leader John Flanagan.

Young is an Olean Republican. She replaces former chairman John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse-area Republican who became deputy majority leader last year.

The finance committee oversees the Senate’s work on the state budget, which is ultimately hammered out during negotiations with the Assembly and governor.

Lawmakers kicked off the 2016 session on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Albany.

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