41. Mary Kennedy
The Public Safety Committees have become some of the most closely watched of any in the Legislature, mostly this year in the Assembly,
where arguments over legislation dealing with fentanyl abuse and human trafficking have at times made the Committee seem like a circular firing squad. Meanwhile, the Senate side has shown no such dysfunction. At lot of that credit goes to Committee Chief Counsel Mary Kennedy, another long-time policy professional who quietly but firmly oversees the functionality of that unit. She is the arbiter of who writes the analysis of each bill that comes before the Committee. She then helps to shape it as it goes through the process and gives the final recommendation on its viability to be heard to the committee chair. In that regard, every Senate leader since John Burton has heavily relied on her calm demeanor and good judgement on public safety issues. So, as with Mark McKenzie (No. 37), get sideways with her at your own risk.