Senator Who Switched Caucuses Gets Power Post

ALBANY (AP) -

The newest member of the state Senate’s ruling coalition is getting leadership positions on the chamber’s environmental and social services committees.

Sen. Tony Avella of Queens joined the group of breakaway Democrats who share control of the Senate with Republicans on Wednesday. He had been in the traditional Democratic caucus.

Legislative leadership positions come with stipends on top of lawmakers’ $79,500 base salary. But Avella says he will continue his practice of not taking stipends.