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William Colton

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William Colton
New York State Assembly District 47
In office
1997 - Present
Term ends
January 1, 2015
Years in position 18
Majority Whip, New York State Assembly
2013 - present
Base salary$79,500/year
Per diem$171/full day; $61/half day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected1996
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sSaint John's University, 1968
Master'sBrooklyn College
J.D.Saint John's School of Law, 1978
Office website
William Colton (b. 1946) is a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly, representing District 47. He was first elected to the chamber in 1997. As of the 2013 session, Colton serves as State Assembly Majority Whip; he is a former Majority Conference Leader.


Colton earned a BA in Urban Education from Saint John's University, a MS in Urban Education from Brooklyn College, and a JD from Saint John's School of Law.[1] His professional experience includes working as a lawyer, and as a public school teacher.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Colton served on the following committees:

New York Committee Assignments, 2013
Environmental Conservation
Governmental Employees
Ways and Means


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Colton served on the following committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Colton served on the following committees:


Pension sweeteners

On February 13, 2013, New York legislators introduced eight bills to "sweeten" government employee pensions. The nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission released a chart of these bills and their costs, totaling $1.311 billion for the state government and $46 million for local governments. Colton sponsored or co-sponsored five of these eight.[2] E.J. McMahon of the pro-market Empire State Center for New York Policy criticized the bills but placed major responsibility for them on Governor Andrew Cuomo, who in 2012 raised the possibility of better pension deals if the economy improved.[3] The New York Daily News published an editorial against the bills on February 21, denouncing the proposals as examples of "incorrigible recklessness with the public’s money."[4]

  • Assembly Bill 4879, sponsored by Peter Abbate, Eric Stevenson, Colton, Vivian Cook, and Earlene Hill Hooper would allow employees in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (NYSLERS) to retire with full benefits after 35 years of employment without regard to their age. This bill would cost the state government an estimated $87 million.[5]
  • Assembly Bill 4890, sponsored by Abbate and Colton, would increase the credit state employees receive for each year above 30 which they have worked from 1.5 to 2.0 percent. This would cost the state government an estimated $1.1 billion.[6]
  • Assembly Bill 4920, sponsored by Abbate, Colton, Cook, Michael Cusick, Steven Englebright, and Weisenberg, would allow Tier I and II employees of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (NYSLERS) and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (NYSLPFRS) to include up to 30 days of unused vacation time in the final average salary calculation for their pension benefits. This would cost the state government an estimated $110 million and local governments an estimated $45 million.[8]
  • Assembly Bill 4924, sponsored by Colton, would guarantee all state and New York City teachers an additional annual $500 for each year of full-time service. This would cost the New York State Teachers' Retirement System $33.8 million, with an additional undefined cost to the New York City Teachers' Retirement System.[9]



See also: New York State Assembly elections, 2012

Colton ran in the 2012 election for New York State Assembly District 47. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 13, 2012. He also ran on the Working Families Party ticket. He defeated James M. Rippa in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[10][11]

New York State Assembly, District 47, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngWilliam Colton Incumbent 74.4% 14,370
     Republican James M. Rippa 25.6% 4,942
Total Votes 19,312


See also: New York State Assembly elections, 2010

Colton ran unopposed in the September 14 Democratic primary. He defeated Phyllis Carbo (R) in the general election on November 2. In addition to running on the Democratic ticket, he ran on the Working Familes ticket.

New York State Assembly, District 47 2010
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png William Colton (D) 8,605
Phyllis Carbo (R) 4,457


On November 4, 2008 Colton won re-election to the New York State Assembly, District 47, defeating opponent Russell Gallo (R).

Colton raised $140,097 for his campaign while Gallo raised $0.[12]

New York State Assembly, District 47 2008
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png William Colton (D) 14,949
Russell Gallo (R) 5,627

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, Colton received $127,024 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[13]

New York State Assembly 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to William Colton's campaign in 2010
New York State Laborers$10,410
New York State Trial Lawyers$3,800
New York State United Teachers$3,400
Schatzman, Sidney$2,600
New York State Afl-Cio$2,000
Total Raised in 2010 $127,024


In 2008, a year in which Colton was up for election, he collected $140,907 in donations.[14]

The major contributors were:

Donor Amount
New York City District Council of Carpenters $3,500
AFSCME District Council 37 $3,250
New York State Trial Lawyers $3,000
New York State United Teachers $2,700



In 2012, Colton’s endorsements included the following:


Colton is married to Mary and has two stepchildren; Jennifer and Joseph.

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Political offices
Preceded by
New York Assembly District 47
Succeeded by