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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • Attended, Cornell University
  • JD, Law, Albany Law School, 1979, Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • BA, Political Science/History, Southampton College, Long Island University, 1976, Grade Point Average of 4.0

Professional Experience

  • Attended, Cornell University
  • JD, Law, Albany Law School, 1979, Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • BA, Political Science/History, Southampton College, Long Island University, 1976, Grade Point Average of 4.0
  • Village Attorney, Village of Sag Harbor, 2007-present
  • Attorney, Sole Practitioner, 1979-present
  • Village Attorney, Village of Sag Harbor, 1997-1998
  • Village Attorney, Village of Westhampton Beach, 1997-1998
  • Attorney, Town of East Hampton Planning Board, 1982-1987
  • Attorney, Town of East Hampton Zoning Board of Appeals, 1985-1987
  • Town Attorney, Town of Southampton, 1982-1987
  • Counsel, Assemblyman John Behan, 1979-1982

Political Experience

  • Attended, Cornell University
  • JD, Law, Albany Law School, 1979, Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • BA, Political Science/History, Southampton College, Long Island University, 1976, Grade Point Average of 4.0
  • Village Attorney, Village of Sag Harbor, 2007-present
  • Attorney, Sole Practitioner, 1979-present
  • Village Attorney, Village of Sag Harbor, 1997-1998
  • Village Attorney, Village of Westhampton Beach, 1997-1998
  • Attorney, Town of East Hampton Planning Board, 1982-1987
  • Attorney, Town of East Hampton Zoning Board of Appeals, 1985-1987
  • Town Attorney, Town of Southampton, 1982-1987
  • Counsel, Assemblyman John Behan, 1979-1982
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 1996-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 1, 2018
  • Town Supervisor, Town of Southampton, 1992-1995
  • County Legislator, Suffolk County, 1988-1991

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Education Committee, New York State Assembly

Former Chair, Small Business Committee, New York State Assembly

Chair, Task Force on University-Industry Cooperation, New York State Assembly

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Environmental Conservation Committee

Chair, Local Governments Committee

Member, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee

Member, Transportation Committee

Member, Ways and Means Committee

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • Attended, Cornell University
  • JD, Law, Albany Law School, 1979, Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • BA, Political Science/History, Southampton College, Long Island University, 1976, Grade Point Average of 4.0
  • Village Attorney, Village of Sag Harbor, 2007-present
  • Attorney, Sole Practitioner, 1979-present
  • Village Attorney, Village of Sag Harbor, 1997-1998
  • Village Attorney, Village of Westhampton Beach, 1997-1998
  • Attorney, Town of East Hampton Planning Board, 1982-1987
  • Attorney, Town of East Hampton Zoning Board of Appeals, 1985-1987
  • Town Attorney, Town of Southampton, 1982-1987
  • Counsel, Assemblyman John Behan, 1979-1982
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, 1996-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 1, 2018
  • Town Supervisor, Town of Southampton, 1992-1995
  • County Legislator, Suffolk County, 1988-1991
  • Director, Children's Summer Lunch Program, 2002-present
  • Director, Peconic County Now, 1995-present
  • Director, Southampton Town Trails Preservation Society, 1992-present
  • Director, Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, 1988-present
  • Member, Noyac Civic Council, 1982-present
  • Member, Group for the South Fork, 1980-present
  • Member, Assembly Majority Steering Committee
  • Member, Bar in the State of New York, 1980-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, East End Economic and Environmental Task Force
  • Former Member, Energy and Environment Committee, Suffolk County Legislature
  • Member, New York State Bipartisan Pro Choice Legislative Caucus
  • Member, Peconic County Study Committee
  • Commissioner, Pine Barrens Commission
  • Member, Policy Committee, Peconic Estuary
  • Former Member, Public Works and Transportation Committee, Suffolk County Legislature
  • Chairman, East End Supervisors and Mayors Association, 1992-1993
Policy Positions

New York State Legislative Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Education

1. Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
- Yes

2. Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?
- Yes

3. Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
- No

4. Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
- Yes

5. Should illegal immigrants who graduate from New York high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
- Yes

6. Should teacher evaluations be tied to the standardized test scores of their students?
- No

7. Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
- No

8. Do you support state funding for charter schools?
- No

9. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Legislative Priorities

In the following area, please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.
- My legislative priorities include: (a) a three pronged approach to improving Long Island's water that includes (1) a nitrogen reduction plan, (2) development of improved technology to improve water quality, and develop an intergovernmental strategy to fund such technology; (b) improved public transit for the South Fork through commuter shuttle trains; (c) improve the job climate for small businesses by tax and regulatory reform, and (d) continued development of graduate study and health care opportunities at the Southampton campus of SUNY Stony Brook.

Gun

1. Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
- Yes

2. Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
- Yes

3. Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
- Yes

4. Should a license be required for gun possession?
- Yes

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Health

1. Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
- Yes

2. Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
- Yes

3. Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
- Yes

4. Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
- Yes

5. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

6. Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
- Yes

7. Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
- Yes

8. Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
- No

Social

1. Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in New York's anti-discrimination laws?
- Yes

2. Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in New York's anti-discrimination laws?
- Yes

3. Do you support same-sex marriage?
- Yes

4. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Environment & Energy

1. Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
- No

2. Do you support increased regulations of the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
- Yes

3. Do you support state funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
- Yes

4. Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
- Yes

5. Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
- Yes

6. Other or expanded principles
- I support the prohibition of hydrofracking in NYS

7. Do you support state funding for improvements to New York's energy infrastructure?
- Yes

Abortion & Reproductive

1. Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
- Yes

2. Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
- No

3. Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
- No

4. Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
- No

5. Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
- Pro-choice

6. Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
- Yes

7. Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
- Yes

8. Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
- No

9. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Campaign Finance & Government Reform

1. Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
- Yes

2. Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
- Yes

3. Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
- No

4. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Crime & Public Safety

1. Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
- No

2. Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
- Yes

3. Do you support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
- No

4. Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
- Yes

5. Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
- No

6. Do you support delaying the seizure of assets by law enforcement officials until after a conviction?
- No

7. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Economic

1. Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

2. Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
- Yes

3. Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
- Yes

4. Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
- Yes

5. Do you support requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits?
- Yes

6. Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
- Yes

7. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

8. Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
- Yes

9. Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
- Yes

10. Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
- Yes

11. Should employers be able to ask about applicants' criminal history before interviewing them?
- No

Campaign Finance & Government Reform

1. Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
- Yes

Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?

1. Individual
- Yes

2. Political Action Committee
- Yes

3. Corporate
- Yes

4. Political Party
- Yes

Budget, Spending, & Tax

State Spending:

Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.

1. Education (higher)
- Slightly Increase

2. Education (K-12)
- Greatly Increase

3. Environment
- Greatly Increase

4. Health care
- Slightly Increase

5. Law enforcement/corrections
- Slightly Increase

6. Transportation/infrastructure
- Greatly Increase

7. Welfare
- Maintain Status

8. Other or expanded categories
- No Answer

State Taxes:

Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.

1. Alcohol taxes
- Maintain Status

2. Cigarette taxes
- Maintain Status

3. Corporate taxes
- Maintain Status

4. Small business taxes
- Greatly Decrease

5. Gas/Oil taxes
- Maintain Status

6. Property taxes
- Slightly Decrease

7. Sales taxes
- Maintain Status

8. Income taxes (low-income families)
- Slightly Decrease

9. Income taxes (mid-income families)
- Maintain Status

10. Income taxes (high-income families)
- Greatly Increase

11. Do you support applying sales taxes to all online purchases?
- Yes

12. Other or expanded principles
- No Answer

Budget Stabilization:

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing New York's budget.

1. Decreasing funding for public universities
- No

2. Tapping into New York's "rainy day" fund
- No

3. Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
- No

4. Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
- No

5. Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
- No

6. Other or expanded principles
- New York State currently has a budget surplus. These budget balancing proposals are not necessary in New York State.

Articles

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Giving Public Water Suppliers a Three-Year Statute of Limitations from Detection of a Contaminant to Pursue Legal Action Against Polluters

Nov. 4, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.3337C/A.5477C) establishing a clear standard for commencement of an action by a public water supplier once pollution is detected in a public water supply. The three-year statute of limitations for public water and wholesale water suppliers to move forward with legal action against polluters resulting from contamination in a source of water supply will now run from: -The detection of a contaminate in the raw water of a well or plant intake sample point in excess of maximum levels set by the Department of Health or Environmental Protection Agency, or the date the contaminate is last detected in the raw water or plant intake sample point in excess of such maximum levels; or-The last wrongful act by a polluter contributing to the presence of the contaminant. "Polluters need to be held responsible for their actions and with this measure we are closing an unacceptable loophole that let them skate for far too long," Governor Cuomo said. "With this law, we will be protecting public water supplies and will help ensure that water authorities are able to recover costs they deserve, that the public health is protected, and that taxpayers are not on the hook to clean up after the actions of these bad actors." Since 1986, state law has allowed litigation for damages caused by exposure to toxic substances to commence within three years of the discovery of the injury, but until now, state law regarding property damage due to the actions of polluters was opaque and allowed polluters to evade responsibility for their actions. The lack of clarity surrounding when the statute of limitations begins to run has been a barrier to recovery and has left taxpayers to fund cleanup costs. Senator James Gaughran said, "Long Island's great resource is our sole-source aquifer and it is imperative that we protect it to ensure its vitality for generations to come. This law will equip public water entities with a desperately needed tool to hold corporate polluters accountable for contaminating our drinking water and ensure these deep-pocketed polluters, not ratepayers, pay the costs of removing contaminants like 1,4-dioxane from our drinking water. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in fighting to protect Long Island's drinking water. As former Chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority, I know all too well the financial burden borne by public water entities charged with ensuring contaminant-free drinking water while polluters get off scot-free. Safe, clean drinking water is a human right and we must treat it as such." Assembly Member Fred Thiele said, "Access to safe drinking water should be a right, not a privilege, and no New Yorker should fear for their health when turning on their faucet. The State must be equipped with every tool and resource necessary to address New York's water quality problem. This new law will go a long way in holding polluters financially accountable for endangering our public drinking water supply with new emerging contaminants. Closing this loophole that has allowed polluters to evade responsibility was one of my top legislative priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. I am pleased to have been a part of this important and successful effort."

Governor Cuomo Announces Start of Construction on $24 Million Workforce Housing Development in Suffolk County

Aug. 13, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a $24 million workforce housing development in the Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County. Gansett Meadow will provide 37 mixed-income rental homes for families in a transit-oriented neighborhood. "The Gansett Meadow Apartments will provide affordable housing to families in East Hampton and connect them with opportunities that help move them on the path toward economic independence," Governor Cuomo said. "By continuing to make these critical investments in our communities, we are creating a stronger New York for all." "This development will provide affordable, quality rental home options for individuals and families in Suffolk County," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This project is part of our overall efforts to increase housing options for residents in our communities across the state. It also builds on our efforts to enhance quality of live and continue economic develop efforts on Long Island." The Governor's commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the State's unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multi- and single-family housing and community development. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested $181 million in Suffolk County that has preserved or created housing for nearly 5,200 people. Gansett Meadow, located at 531 Montauk Highway, is being constructed on a vacant, 4.7-acre site owned by the East Hampton Housing Authority. The development is conveniently located within a mile of the Long Island Railroad's East Hampton station and is on the Suffolk County Area Transit bus route. It is also located near grocery stores, places of worship, schools, libraries, public recreation facilities and an urgent care center. The development complex will consist of seven, two-story buildings offering a mix of one- to four-bedroom apartments. Three apartments are fully accessible and adaptable for persons with a hearing or vision impairment. The apartments will be affordable to households at a range of income levels. The residential buildings will be clustered around a central green space with a playground, patio and parking along the perimeter. There will be a separate community building with laundry facilities, a kitchenette, computers and meeting space. A treatment plant to handle the development's waste water will be built on site. The development team consists of Georgica Green Ventures, LLC and the East Hampton Housing Authority. The total cost of the development is $24 million. HCR is providing Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate about $12.4 million in equity and $5.6 million in subsidy. Additional financing includes a $3.9 million permanent loan from the Community Preservation Corporation and $1.1 million from Suffolk County. New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "A community cannot grow and prosper if people cannot afford to live near where they work. This transit-friendly complex will enable families to continue to be an integral part of the community they love in a development that will harmonize with the architecture of the surrounding area. Gansett Meadow is another concrete example of Governor Cuomo's commitment to expanding affordable workforce housing opportunities on Long Island and across the state." Assembly Member Fred W. Thiele said, "Gansett Meadow is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work together. The availability of affordable housing is in short supply on the East End. Local employers have difficulty hiring and retaining employees because of housing costs and availability, and local volunteer emergency services are experiencing difficulty in recruitment and retention. Gansett Meadow is a step towards reversing this trend, providing our dedicated workforce with the housing they need and deserve." Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "The demand for affordable housing has never been greater and that is why Suffolk Count is making the necessary investments to expand our stock on the East End. As the first project of its kind in the Town of East Hampton, this project will make it possible for residents to stay on Long Island." Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said, "High housing costs and property taxes make it difficult for young people and working families to stay in our Long Island communities, for a vibrant and growing economy. These high quality affordable homes will be close to work, medical care, school and shopping, and easily accessible by a number of transportation options. We're grateful to Governor Cuomo, Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas, and Assemblyman Fred Thiele for their continued support and I applaud the persistent efforts by East Hampton authorities and their partner Georgica Green Ventures to get this job done. I thank County Executive Steve Bellone, and my colleagues on the Legislature for their continued commitment to solving our region's toughest problems, and I'm happy to have lent my support." East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, "The construction of these 37 affordable rental units will augment the town's efforts, which include 12 recently completed affordable condominium units and the purchase of a site that could accommodate an additional 30 units. These affordable housing opportunities will allow local working individuals and families to remain in East Hampton and continue to contribute to our community. Congratulations to the East Hampton Housing Authority and Georgica Green Ventures, and many thanks to the state, county, and the Community Preservation Corporation for supporting this project." Matthew Ardito, Vice President, Georgica Green Ventures, said, "We are extremely excited to be delivering desperately needed workforce housing in East Hampton. We can't thank the local community and Town Board enough for their willingness to work with us to create a beautiful development of which the whole Town will be proud." Rafael E. Cestero, President & CEO of The Community Preservation Corporation, said' "Throughout Long Island, towns like East Hampton are growing, rents are rising and long-time residents and hardworking families are struggling to make ends meet. At CPC, we're committed to working with our partners in state and local government to help finance housing that's safe, affordable, and that helps connect people to their communities. My thanks to Governor Cuomo, HCR Commissioner Visnauskas, Suffolk County, and all of our partners for their dedication to making our state more affordable for all New Yorkers." Catherine Casey, Executive Director, East Hampton Housing Authority, said, "The East Hampton Housing Authority commissioners and staff are very proud to announce construction has begun on the Gansett Meadow property. The Authority is grateful to NYS Homes and Community Renewal for funding this much needed project. We also thank Suffolk County for their Infrastructure Subsidy Program funding, without which this project may have never gotten off the ground. With our development partners Georgica Green Ventures and Boston Financial, our excellent public/private team will competently deliver to the community housing that is affordable, convenient and inclusive. We are humbled by the outpouring of support from East Hampton and, in particular, the Amagansett community. We hope you too will be very proud of what we are accomplishing here today."

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Authorizing Emergency Responders to Remove Distressed Animals Left in Motor Vehicles

Jul. 31, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.5054/A.7053) authorizing firefighters and other emergency medical responders to remove animals in unattended motor vehicles under conditions that endanger their health or well-being. This legislation will help reduce wait times when calls are made to 911 that a pet is in danger, especially in areas and at times when law enforcement or animal control availability is limited. The bill goes into effect immediately. "Leaving a pet in a stifling hot or freezing cold car is inhumane and potentially dangerous, and emergency responders should have the ability to remove them if necessary," Governor Cuomo said. "As a dog owner myself, I am proud to sign this measure into law to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of animals." Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said, "By authorizing emergency medical service personnel and firefighters to remove animals from cars in extreme heat or cold situations, we reduce wait times saving critical minutes and the lives of innocent animals. In areas with limited police resources, this new law becomes even more important as it expands the number of emergency personnel who can respond to a desperate situation where a helpless animal is in imminent danger and the owner cannot be located. Too often we hear stories about an animal who has died due to the reckless behavior of its owner. This measure will offer greater protections to our precious pets and penalize those who put them in harms way." Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele said, "In the summer months, we are reminded of the danger that the confinement of pets in motor vehicles can pose when temperatures inside vehicles can soar to life-threatening extremes within minutes. This important measure will result in the saving of beloved pets' lives in these dangerous situations by substantially expanding who can respond to a pet in distress. Firefighters and EMS personnel are equipped and trained to act in these situations. This will allow our firefighters to put that training to good use when a pet is threatened by extreme temperatures in a motor vehicle."