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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • BA, Syracuse University
  • MA, Hunter College
  • MA, Queens College

Professional Experience

  • BA, Syracuse University
  • MA, Hunter College
  • MA, Queens College
  • Former Social Studies Teacher, New York City High Schools
  • District Manager, Northeast Queens, United States Census, 1980

Political Experience

  • BA, Syracuse University
  • MA, Hunter College
  • MA, Queens College
  • Former Social Studies Teacher, New York City High Schools
  • District Manager, Northeast Queens, United States Census, 1980
  • Majority Conference Vice Chair, New York State Senate, 2019-present
  • Senator, New York State Senate, District 16, 2000-present
  • Former Assistant Democratic Conference Leader, Conference Operations, New York State Senate
  • Former Majority Conference Vice Chair, New York State Senate
  • Minority Conference Vice Chair, New York State Senate, 2010-2019
  • Candidate, New York State Senate, District 16, 2018
  • Assistant Minority Whip, New York State Senate, 2003-2008

Former Committees/Caucuses

Member, Select Committee on Libraries, New York State Senate, present

Former Member, Libraries Committee, New York State Senate

Former Member, New York Education Subcommittee, New York State Senate

Former Member, Transportation Committee, New York State Senate

Chair, Higher Education Committee, New York State Senate, 2009-2010

Ranking Minority Member, Higher Education Committee, New York State Senate, 2003-2008

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Education Committee

Member, Ethics And Internal Governance Committee

Member, Finance Committee

Member, Health Committee

Chair, Higher Education Committee

Member, Judiciary Committee

Member, Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • BA, Syracuse University
  • MA, Hunter College
  • MA, Queens College
  • Former Social Studies Teacher, New York City High Schools
  • District Manager, Northeast Queens, United States Census, 1980
  • Majority Conference Vice Chair, New York State Senate, 2019-present
  • Senator, New York State Senate, District 16, 2000-present
  • Former Assistant Democratic Conference Leader, Conference Operations, New York State Senate
  • Former Majority Conference Vice Chair, New York State Senate
  • Minority Conference Vice Chair, New York State Senate, 2010-2019
  • Candidate, New York State Senate, District 16, 2018
  • Assistant Minority Whip, New York State Senate, 2003-2008
  • Founder/Board of Directors, North Flushing Senior Center
  • Trustee, Whitestone Hebrew Centre
Articles

Governor Cuomo Announces Collaborative Graduate-Level Grant Program to Develop Life Science Entrepreneurs

Aug. 22, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new grant program to develop life science entrepreneurial talent in New York State. This competitive grant will award up to $550,000 to qualified New York graduate schools of business, working in collaboration with medical schools or graduate programs in the life sciences, biomedical engineering or bioinformatics, to plan, develop and implement a new MBA concentration or certificate in life science entrepreneurship. This program is part of Governor Cuomo's $620 million New York State Life Science Initiative, which is designed to spur the growth of a world-class commercial life science sector in New York State. "New York's rich research pipeline and life science industry offer enormous potential to expand our state's economy," Governor Cuomo said. "By collaborating to create an entrepreneurial management training program, we are preparing life science leaders in our state for tomorrow while developing and retaining talent in this burgeoning industry." "We are committed to investing in programs to grow talent and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This grant program will provide graduate schools with funding to develop concentrations and pathways in the life sciences for individuals to gain the skills they need to advance in the industry. The effort is part of our overall investment in life sciences to expand businesses, support research, and strengthen the industry to create good jobs and grow the economy." This program is an important component in the initiative's goal of developing entrepreneurs with the mix of skills and expertise needed to successfully guide innovative life science startups along the path to commercial viability. Building a pool of life science entrepreneurs in New York is the goal of this grant program, which includes two stages of funding: -Stage 1 ($50,000 funding commitment) will fund development of the institution's detailed plan for, and commitment to, the collaborative business education program for life science entrepreneurs.-Stage 2 (up to $500,000 funding commitment) will provide one-time support of implementation for Stage 1 plans that are favorably reviewed. Program Requirements Programs proposed by qualified public or private graduate schools of business must: -Include an educational program that results in either an MBA concentration or graduate-level certificate in life science entrepreneurship;-Feature a curriculum focused on the business of technological innovation in the life science industry;-Identify resources within universities to support talented students as they consider career options;-Establish substantive institutional partnerships, linking graduate schools of business with medical schools, life science-based graduate programs, biomedical engineering programs, and bioinformatics and data science programs; and-Establish partnerships between graduate schools and the business community, engaging investors, startups and seasoned life science leaders to participate in curriculum development and implementation. More information about program expectations and an application form can be found on the ESD website. In addition to building a pipeline of life science talent that will help meet the industry's demand for business executives in New York, the program is also intended to promote a culture of entrepreneurship within life science-focused academia and encourage college and university-based scientists to direct their research toward commercial applications. The program also aims to encourage talented students to consider careers outside of academia that build on their research backgrounds. Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The growth of the state's life sciences industry depends on a skilled workforce, and this new program will offer the necessary training and opportunities--right here in New York--by offering business schools the added resources and impetus to provide the specialized education needed to build the next generation of life science leaders." Amy Schulman, a member of Governor Cuomo's Life Science Advisory Board, managing partner at Polaris Partners, and founding and managing partner at LS Polaris Innovation Fund said, "There is a growing pool of research scientists ready to extend their expertise into the business realm and become leaders in New York's growing life science ecosystem. Equipping these researchers with entrepreneurial business skills will be essential to growing the state's life science economy." Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education said, "This grant program to build a life science business program in New York State will allow the bright young people in our state to receive both a world-class education and training in business leadership skills. I believe that a dynamic and collaborative public-private partnership is essential to the growth of higher education in New York." Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick said, "Around the world, New York is recognized for its top-notch higher education institutions and our commitment to life sciences. The New York Life Science Entrepreneur Development Grant Program will ensure our schools are preparing the next generation of life sciences entrepreneurs to maintain New York's preeminent position." New York State's $620 Million Life Science Initiative In the FY 2018 budget, New York State enacted a $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life science research cluster in New York, as well as expand the state's ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy. This multi-faceted initiative includes $100 million to expand the Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credit across the life sciences industry, $100 million for a life sciences research and development refundable tax credit program and $320 million in other forms of investment. This includes state capital grants to support the development of wet-lab and innovation space, operating support and investment capital for early stage life science companies that leverages an additional match of at least $100 million from the private sector. The Life Science sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies and life systems technologies and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. Every day, firms in this sector are developing new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, whether through new therapies or the early detection of diseases like autism and cancer. These firms are also making significant advancements in the realms of agriculture and environmental biotechnologies, helping create a cleaner and more sustainable future. By strengthening incentives, investing in the facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York as a magnet for emerging manufacturing- based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs.

Governor Cuomo Announces $21.3 Million in Funding to Support Critical Infrastructure Improvements at New York's Private, Not-For-Profit Colleges and Universities

Jul. 30, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $21.3 million in grants for capital projects at 35 colleges and universities across New York. The funding comes from the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program and is awarded by the HECap Board, which provides matching grants to private, not-for-profit colleges and universities for projects that create construction jobs and drive investment in communities across the state. Projects include, but are not limited to, the construction of new residence halls and conference facilities, athletic facility expansions and the equipping of state-of-the-art science facilities with innovative technology and equipment. New classroom spaces and sustainable, safety and structural improvements are also among the quality of learning and life enhancements being completed. "New York has a world-class education system, and we must continue to invest in our educational institutions to provide New York students with an optimal living and learning environment to succeed," Governor Cuomo said. "These investments in our college campuses will not only benefit our next generation of leaders, they will also strengthen our communities and provide an economic boost to the entire state." "The funding announced today is part of our ongoing statewide commitment to higher education and ensuring all students have an exceptional experience at all New York colleges and universities," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With state support, these investments will modernize campuses and help institutions across the state continue to grow and prosper." Under the Governor's leadership, the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program has enabled campuses across the state to make critical investments in their infrastructure and equipment while creating construction jobs. Campuses that receive grants are required to invest at least $3 of their own funds for every $1 of state funds they receive. The HECap Board approved $21.3 million awarded to the 35 projects at a meeting on July 30. A full list of projects awarded funding from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), which administers the program on behalf of the Board, is available here. The funding amounts awarded by region are:-Capital Region: $1.3 million-Finger Lakes: $2.3 million-Long Island: $3.3 million-Mohawk Valley: $312,711-Mid-Hudson: $3.7 million-North Country: $825,385-New York City: $5.9 million-Western NY: $3.6 million The projects selected for grants in this most recent round were chosen as part of a competitive application process. The three-member HECap Board includes one member chosen by the Speaker of the Assembly, one member chosen by the Temporary President of the Senate, and a third member chosen by the Governor. Gerrard P. Bushell, DASNY President and CEO said, "DASNY is pleased to administer grants on behalf of the HECap Board. Every dollar spent on modernizing our higher education facilities is an investment in our next generation, providing them with the resources they need to learn, innovate and ultimately succeed." Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "Investing in our young people, and empowering them to unleash their potential by earning a world-class education must be a top priority for state government. The HECap grant will allow these private and non-profit colleges to make necessary improvements to better serve their students. As Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I look forward to working with colleagues in the Legislature and with Governor Cuomo to continue investing in our education and higher education system and providing our public institutions with the support, state investment, and capital plan they deserve." Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick said, "New York continues to make vital investments in education. The Legislature and the Governor have a steadfast commitment to our students and ensuring our private, not-for profit colleges and universities remain among the most prestigious in the nation." Mary Beth Labate, President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, said, "By leveraging private investment with public dollars, the HECap Program stimulates economic growth in communities across New York, while ensuring that New York remains a global leader in higher education and the innovation economy. Together with funds invested directly by private, not-for-profit campuses, the matching program has leveraged more than $1 billion for the infrastructure of our higher education institutions. We thank Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for providing New York with an investment to be returned for years to come."

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of $13 Million Rehabilitation of the Jewel Avenue Bridge Over the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens

Jul. 19, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that major construction is complete on a $13 million project to rehabilitate the Jewel Avenue Bridge over the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens, as well as the exit and entrance ramps that connect Jewel Avenue to the southbound expressway. The project has enhanced safety and mobility along a key thoroughfare in Central Queens and improved access to one of the borough's major traffic arteries. "New York State is investing in infrastructure like never before, and the completion of this project is proof positive that we are committed to investing in the safety and efficiency of our roads and bridges," Governor Cuomo said. "Motorists and pedestrians alike will benefit from the increased ease of travel and other critical improvements made by this project." "The completion of this modernization project improves the travel experience and enhances safety in Queens," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This significant project overhauled the Jewel Avenue Bridge, along with exit and entrance ramps, to ensure easy access and less traffic congestion in the area. This major construction is part of our overall efforts to invest in infrastructure and ensure motorist safety across the state." The project included the repair of the bridge deck and structural steel, the repaving of the bridge's road surface and the reconstruction of its sidewalks. Structural repairs were also made to the exit and entrance ramps leading to and from Jewel Avenue to the southbound Van Wyck. Additional improvements include new LED streetlights, traffic lights, drainage scuppers and fencing. Signage along the roadway was upgraded to meet current standards and provide better reflectivity and readability. New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is investing in infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and help our communities grow. The Jewel Avenue Bridge project has eased travel for people and goods throughout Central Queens, while providing improved access to the Van Wyck Expressway." Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "Over the years, Queens has had several bridges and overpasses in need of long overdue repair, and I am delighted that the Jewel Avenue Bridge is being reopened. Bridges are vital to connecting communities and this project is an important addition to Queens County. I thank Governor Cuomo and all those responsible for making Queens a more habitable neighborhood." New York City Council Member Rory Lancman said, "The revamped Jewel Avenue Bridge will make commutes safer and smoother for pedestrians and motorists, and that is great news for our community. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation for making the rehabilitation of Jewel Avenue Bridge a reality." The bridge serves as a connector between the Forest Hills neighborhood on the west side of the Grand Central Parkway and the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood to the east of the Van Wyck Expressway. It's also part of the routes of the Q4/Q44 express buses and the Q64 local bus. The project also included the repair of three retaining walls along the eastbound Long Island Expressway: between 58th Street and Maurice Avenue; between Junction Boulevard and 97th Place; and at the exit ramp at 138th Street. Additional signage and roadway striping were also added along Meadow Lake Drive in Queens. Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT_NYC. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NYSDOT.