At the annual organizational meeting, legislators supported substantial changes to the Legislative Standing Committees.
“The new committee structure will enable the Legislature to work more effectively,” said Chair Tracey Bartels. “The needs of Ulster County residents have evolved, and so too must county government,” says Deputy Majority Leader Abe Uchitelle.
“For the first time in over 20 years, Agriculture is included in the committee structure and recognized as a central economic driver in Ulster County. The addition of Agriculture to Economic Development puts farmers and agricultural-related businesses in clear policy focus. The Legislature understands what our farmers mean to our economy, our well-being, and health,” said Bartels.
One of the most significant changes made to the structure of the standing committees is the reconfiguration of the former Public Health and Social Services Committee to Health, Human Services, and Housing. The committee’s focus has been expanded to allow the Legislature to take an all-encompassing view of health that includes human services and housing.
“The Legislature recognizes the longstanding relationship between public health and housing.
Integrating Health, Human Services, and Housing allows the Legislature to take a wide view of the complex, interconnected forces which shape public health. It empowers the Legislature to develop holistic policies to address the immediate and emergent challenges and crises faced by families, businesses, and communities throughout Ulster County,” said Bartels.
Legislators also voted to establish the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Special Committee dedicated to the investment and allocation of $34,491,474 American Rescue Plan Act federal funding.
The new special committee will review and track all proposals related to the expenditure of federal ARPA funds before forwarding them to legislative Standing Committees of jurisdiction. The special committee will have a standing committee’s same powers and duties. The ARPA Special Committee will be dissolved in three years, or after all ARPA funds are spent.
The Special Committee will work to ensure that ARPA funds are effectively used to provide immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses impacted by the pandemic, strengthen vital public services, and remedy systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic.
“The Legislature will work in active partnership with the Executive branch to build a pathway to an equitable recovery with long-term benefits for health and the strongest possible economic outcome for the residents of Ulster County,” Bartels added.
2022 Standing and
Economic Development, Planning, Education, Employment, Arts and Agriculture
Energy, Environment, and Sustainability
Health, Human Services, and Housing
Law Enforcement and Public Safety
and Safety Office
Laws, Rules, and Government Services
Public Works, Capital Projects, and Transportation
Ways and Means
American Rescue Plan Act