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Revision as of 19:21, 12 July 2013

New York State Assembly

Seal of New York.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 9, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Sheldon Silver, (D)
Majority Leader:   Ronald Canestrari, (D)
Minority Leader:   Brian Kolb, (R)
Members:  150
   Democratic Party (105)
Republican Party (44)
Vacant (3)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art III, New York Constitution
Salary:   $79,500/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (150 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (150 seats)
Redistricting:  New York Legislature has control
The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature. It meets at the State Capitol in Albany.

The Assembly is composed of 150 members representing an equal amount of districts. Each member represents an average of 129,187 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 126,510 residents.[2] Assembly members serve two-year terms without term limits[3].

As of March 2015, New York is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.


Article III of the New York Constitution outlines the legislative power for New York's government. Article III does not limit when the New York State Legislature, which the Assembly is a part of, can convene in regular session. However, Section 18 of Article III does contain provisions related to special sessions of the Legislature. Section 18 states that a special session can be called by a petition of request from two-thirds of both legislative houses.


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through December 31 (estimated).

Major issues

Gun control tops the list to be addressed by legislators in 2013. Other major issues include raising the minimum wage, securing federal dollars for victims of Superstorm Sandy, education, job creation, legalizing casinos off of Native American lands, and restrictions to the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk procedures.[4]

Gun control:
Following the December 14, 2012 school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, Gov. Cuomo sought to make gun control a major issue in 2013. To that end, one of the first things the Legislature did in its 2013 session was to pass a tougher assault weapons ban that includes restrictions on ammunition and the sale of guns, as well as provisions to keep guns from the mentally ill who make threats. New York was the first state to pass new laws after the tragedy.[5]

In July 2013, amid a legislative session riddled with political corruption, Governor Andrew Cuomo established an investigative committee by executive order under the Moreland Act and New York Executive Law. The committee, joined by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is tasked with examining public corruption, including potential wrongdoing by legislators in campaign fundraising. Any branch of the state government is under the authority of the committee, which will recommend changes to law and ethics rules in addition to the possibility of referring any misconduct cases for prosecution. A preliminary report is due by December 1, 2013, with a final report expected by the end of 2014.[6]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Assembly was in session from January 4 through June 22.

Major issues

Redistricting was a divisive issue in 2011 and had to be dealt with in 2012. Other issues included addressing a $3.5 billion budget gap and a proposal to ban hydrofracking.[7]


In 2011, the Assembly was in session from January 5 through a date to be determined by the Legislature. [8]


In 2010, the Assembly convened its regular session on January 6. The Legislature remained in regular session throughout the year. Additionally, the Legislature was in an ongoing special session, which convened in 2009, dealing with issues of deficit reduction.[9]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. New York was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[10]



See also: New York State Assembly elections, 2012

Elections for the office of New York State Assembly were held in New York on November 6, 2012. All 150 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline is July 12 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: New York State Assembly elections, 2010

Elections for the office of New York's State Assembly were held in New York on November 2, 2010.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was July 22, 2010. The primary election day was September 14, 2010.

In 2010, the candidates for state assembly raised a total of $22,899,004 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [11]


Article 3, Section 7 of the New York Constitution states: No person shall serve as a member of the legislature unless he or she is a citizen of the United States and has been a resident of the state of New York for five years, and, except as hereinafter otherwise prescribed, of the assembly or senate district for the twelve months immediately preceding his or her election; if elected a senator or member of assembly at the first election next ensuing after a readjustment or alteration of the senate or assembly districts becomes effective, a person, to be eligible to serve as such, must have been a resident of the county in which the senate or assembly district is contained for the twelve months immediately preceding his or her election. No member of the legislature shall, during the time for which he or she was elected, receive any civil appointment from the governor, the governor and the senate, the legislature or from any city government, to an office which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the Assembly, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. An election can be held as long the vacancy happened before April 1st in an election year[12]. The person elected to fill the vacant seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term[13].


See also: Redistricting in New York

The New York Legislature is responsible for redistricting. While there is a six person commission on redistricting, known as the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR), it only acts in an advisory role. The final deal must meet with approval from the Department of Justice.[14]

2010 census

New York received its 2010 census data on March 23, 2011. The state's growth rate was at 2.19%, well below the national rate of 9.7%.[15] Redistricting became a major issue in the state prior to the November 2010 elections. Going into the elections, the organization NY Uprising asked all candidates to sign a pledge to support nonpartisan redistricting during the following legislative session. A majority of those who won in both chambers signed the pledge.[16] Additionally, Governor Andrew Cuomo consistently reiterated his pledge to veto any new maps that were not drawn through a non-partisan process.[17] Meanwhile, Republicans added more friction to the process in September 2011 when they were said to be considering adding a 63rd seat to the Senate. Democrats balked, saying it didn't make sense to add a seat in the chamber when slow population growth caused the state to lose seats in Congress.[18]

The two sides battled over the issue of redistricting during the entire 2011 session. Following a number of delays, LATFOR released proposed Senate and Assembly maps on January 26, 2012. The Senate plan included the additional 63rd seat. Gov. Cuomo continued to threaten to veto the maps, but began to tone down his rhetoric.[19] On March 11, LATFOR filed a bill of their final plans, which closely resembled the maps they released two months earlier. Along with this, leaders offered a constitutional amendment that would set up a new bipartisan commission on redistricting following the next census in 2020.[20] Following a walkout of Senate Democrats, the bill passed. Later that week the constitutional amendment passed. However, in order to become law, it must be passed by the next separately elected legislature and also approved by voters in a referendum.[21] With that approved, Cuomo stated, "It’s over once and for all" [22] and signed the maps into law.[23]


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 105
     Republican Party 44
     Vacancy 1
Total 150

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the New York State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the New York State House.PNG

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

New York legislators assume office January 1st.


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2012, members of the New York Legislature are paid $79,500/year and per diem of $61/half day and $171/full day. Per diem varies and is tied to the federal rate. [24]

The $79,500/year that New York legislators are paid as of 2011 is the same as they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007.[25][26]


Some legislators in New York are able to begin collecting a state pension while still serving in office and also receiving their normal salary. Under state law, if a lawmaker took office prior to 1995, they are eligible to begin collecting an annual pension once they turn 65. Those who took office after 1994 are not able to collect a pension while still in office. As of 2011, Rep. Herman Farrell (D) was the highest-paid state legislator, collecting his $113,500 salary as well as a pension of $81,619.[27]


The Speaker of the Assembly is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, deciding all questions of order, and appointing all committee and subcommittee members.[28][29]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, New York State Assembly
Office Representative Party
Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle Electiondot.png Democratic
State Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Earlene Hill Hooper Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assistant Speaker of the Assembly Rhoda Jacobs Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jeffrion Aubry Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore Harvey Weisenberg Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Deputy Majority Leader N. Nick Perry Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Dov Hikind Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Majority Whip William Colton Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Deputy Majority Whip Barbara Clark Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Assistant Majority Whip Jose Rivera Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Majority Conference Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes Electiondot.png Democratic
State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Minority Leader Pro Tempore Jane Corwin Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore Tom McKevitt Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Deputy Minority Leader William Barclay Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Gary Finch Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Bill Reilich Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Minority Whip Stephen Hawley Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Deputy Minority Whip James Tedisco Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Assistant Minority Whip Michael Montesano Ends.png Republican
State Assembly Minority Conference Leader Clifford Crouch Ends.png Republican

Current members

Current members, New York State Assembly
District Representative Party Assumed Office
1 Fred Thiele Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
2 Vacant
3 Edward J. Hennessey Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 Steven Englebright Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
5 Alfred Graf Ends.png Republican 2011
6 Philip Ramos Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
7 Andrew R. Garbarino Ends.png Republican 2013
8 Michael Fitzpatrick Ends.png Republican 2003
9 Joseph Saladino Ends.png Republican 2013
10 Chad A. Lupinacci Ends.png Republican 2013
11 Robert Sweeney Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
12 Andrew Raia Ends.png Republican 2013
13 Charles Lavine Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
14 David McDonough Ends.png Republican 2013
15 Michael Montesano Ends.png Republican 2010
16 Michelle Schimel Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
17 Thomas McKevitt Ends.png Republican 2006
18 Earlene Hill Hooper Electiondot.png Democratic 1988
19 Edward Ra Ends.png Republican 2013
20 Harvey Weisenberg Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
21 Brian Curran Ends.png Republican 2013
22 Michaelle C. Solages Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
23 Phillip Goldfeder Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
24 David Weprin Electiondot.png Democratic 2010
25 Nily D. Rozic Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
26 Edward Braunstein Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
27 Michael Simanowitz Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
28 Andrew Hevesi Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
29 William Scarborough Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
30 Margaret Markey Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
31 Michele Titus Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
32 Vivian Cook Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
33 Barbara Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
34 Michael DenDekker Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
35 Jeffrion Aubry Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
36 Aravella Simotas Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
37 Catherine Nolan Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
38 Michael Miller Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
39 Francisco Moya Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
40 Ronald T. Kim Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
41 Helene Weinstein Electiondot.png Democratic 1981
42 Rhoda Jacobs Electiondot.png Democratic 1979
43 Karim Camara Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
44 James Brennan Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
45 Steven Cymbrowitz Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
46 Alec Brook-Krasny Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
47 William Colton Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
48 Dov Hikind Electiondot.png Democratic 1983
49 Peter Abbate Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
50 Joseph Lentol Electiondot.png Democratic 1973
51 Felix Ortiz Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
52 Joan Millman Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
53 Vacant
54 Rafael Espinal Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
55 William Boyland Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
56 Annette Robinson Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
57 Walter T. Mosley III Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
58 N. Nick Perry Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
59 Alan Maisel Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
60 Inez Barron Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
61 Matthew Titone Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
62 Joseph Borelli Ends.png Republican 2013
63 Michael Cusick Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
64 Nicole Malliotakis Ends.png Republican 2013
65 Sheldon Silver Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
66 Deborah Glick Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
67 Linda Rosenthal Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
68 Robert Rodriguez Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
69 Daniel O'Donnell Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
70 Keith Wright Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
71 Herman Farrell Electiondot.png Democratic 1975
72 Gabriela Rosa Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
73 Dan Quart Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
74 Brian Kavanagh Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
75 Richard Gottfried Electiondot.png Democratic 1971
76 Micah Kellner Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
77 Vanessa Gibson Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
78 Jose Rivera Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
79 Eric Stevenson Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
80 Mark Gjonaj Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
81 Jeffrey Dinowitz Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
82 Michael Benedetto Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
83 Carl Heastie Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
84 Carmen Arroyo Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
85 Marcos Crespo Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
86 Vacant
87 Luis R. Sepulveda Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
88 Amy Paulin Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
89 J. Gary Pretlow Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
90 Shelley Mayer Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
91 Steven Otis Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
92 Thomas Abinanti Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
93 David Buchwald Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
94 Steve Katz Ends.png Republican 2013
95 Sandra Galef Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
96 Kenneth Zebrowski Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
97 Ellen Jaffee Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
98 Ann Rabbitt Ends.png Republican 2013
99 James G. Skoufis Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
100 Aileen Gunther Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
101 Claudia Tenney Ends.png Republican 2013
102 Peter Lopez Ends.png Republican 2013
103 Kevin Cahill Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
104 Frank Skartados Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
105 Kieran Michael Lalor Ends.png Republican 2013
106 Didi Barrett Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
107 Steven McLaughlin Ends.png Republican 2013
108 John T. McDonald, III Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
109 Patricia Fahy Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
110 Phillip G. Steck Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
111 Angelo Santabarbara Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
112 James Tedisco Ends.png Republican 2013
113 Tony Jordan Ends.png Republican 2013
114 Daniel G. Stec Ends.png Republican 2013
115 Janet Duprey Ends.png Republican 2013
116 Addie Russell Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
117 Kenneth Blankenbush Ends.png Republican 2013
118 Marc Butler Ends.png Republican 2013
119 Anthony Brindisi Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
120 William Barclay Ends.png Republican 2013
121 William Magee Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
122 Clifford Crouch Ends.png Republican 2013
123 Donna Lupardo Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
124 Christopher Friend Ends.png Republican 2013
125 Barbara Lifton Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
126 Gary Finch Ends.png Republican 2013
127 Albert A. Stirpe Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
128 Sam Roberts Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
129 William Magnarelli Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
130 Robert Oaks Ends.png Republican 2013
131 Brian Kolb Ends.png Republican 2013
132 Philip Palmesano Ends.png Republican 2013
133 Bill Nojay Ends.png Republican 2013
134 Bill Reilich Ends.png Republican 2003
135 Mark Johns Ends.png Republican 2011
136 Joseph Morelle Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
137 David Gantt Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
138 Harry Bronson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
139 Stephen Hawley Ends.png Republican 2006
140 Robin Schimminger Electiondot.png Democratic 1977
141 Crystal Peoples-Stokes Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
142 Michael Kearns Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
143 Dennis Gabryszak Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
144 Jane Corwin Ends.png Republican 2013
145 John Ceretto Ends.png Republican 2013
146 Raymond Walter Ends.png Republican 2013
147 David DiPietro Ends.png Republican 2013
148 Joseph Giglio Ends.png Republican 2013
149 Sean Ryan Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
150 Andrew Goodell Ends.png Republican 2011

Standing committees

The New York State Assembly has 37 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, New York’’
Partisan breakdown of the New York legislature from 1992-2013

During every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New York State House of Representatives. The New York State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of New York, the New York State Senate and the New York House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of New York state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states
  2. Population in 2000 of the American states
  3. "Wikipedia" New York State Assembly, February 26, 2009
  4. Spokesman Review, "NY legislative leaders buckle down on gun controls," January 9, 2013
  5. Seattle PI, "NY seals 1st state gun laws since Newtown massacre," January 15, 2013
  6., "Cuomo creates panel to investigate Legislature", July 2, 2013
  7. Poughkeepsie Journal, "Divisive issues to test Cuomo's popularity in 2nd year," January 9, 2012
  8. 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
  9. 2010 session dates for New York Legislature
  10. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  11. Follow the Money: "New York Assembly 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  12. New York State Legislature "New York State Public Officers Law"(Referenced Statute § 42 (4))
  13. New York Legislature "New York State Public Officers Law"(Referenced Statute § 38)
  14. New York Observer, "Backgrounder: How Redistricting Will Reshape New York's Battle Lines," December 27, 2010
  15. The Epoch Times, "New York Loses House Seats After 2010 Census," December 22, 2010
  16. Auburn Pub, "Koch expects legislators to deliver on pledge," January 2, 2011
  17. New York 1 "Advocates air concerns over NY's redistricting process," December 14, 2010
  18. New York Daily News, "State Senate Republicans mull adding extra seat to 62-member body," September 19, 2011
  19. New York Daily News, "Gov. Andrew Cuomo vows to veto Republicans' redistricting plan," January 26, 2012
  20., "New York releases its final redistricting maps for state Senate and Assembly districts," March 12, 2012
  21. Reuters, "New York lawmakers approve redistricting amendment," March 15, 2012
  22. Capital New York, "Cuomo says redistricting is fixed, and on transparency: 'You can't live your life in a goldfish bowl'," March 15, 2012
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named cong_approved
  24. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislator Compensation Data"
  25. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
  26. Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
  27. USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
  28. New York State Assembly Rules - Rule 1: Speaker
  29. New York Assembly Leadership