Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In his brief resignation letter, Heinz said that he was stepping down “to devote more of my time to the legislative process.”
Heinz added that he would “continue to focus my efforts on developing the best, most effective policy solutions to address the ongoing economic recovery, essential public health programs, education funding at all levels, and public safety priorities including border crime enforcement with a long-term goal of balancing the budget in a sustainable, fiscally responsible manner.”
Rep. Steve Farley of midtown’s Legislative District 28, who serves as assistant minority leader in the House, says that he had heard grumblings from other Democrats that too many of Heinz’s bills were still alive this year, while their legislation had been killed off in committee.
“There were a lot of caucus who were not happy about the way things were going,” says Farley. “Ultimately, it’s probably a better decision for him as a legislator because he has priorities that the whip job would be in the way of.”
Working with Republicans, Heinz managed to pass a bill that banned the marijuana substitute Spice earlier this year. That’s a rare feat for any Democrat, given that they’re outnumbered 2-1 in both chambers.
Heinz has several other bills that have passed the House, including a measure that restores funding for hospice stays for terminally ill patients.
“I regret that it’s necessary for me to resign the position,” Heinz told The Range. “I worked very hard for the caucus and will continue to work very hard for the caucus.”