|Address||14 Sylvester St. PO BOX 474|
Kinderhook, New York 12106, United States
|| August 25, 1952
Oct 22, 2018 01:43pm
Married - Catholic -
|Info||Growing up on Long Island, John Faso learned early the values of family, education and hard work that would stay with him for his entire life. |
His dad, John was a small businessman, running a tool rental and television repair store, while his mother Frances raised five children. John graduated from the prestigious Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens. He graduated from State University of New York at Brockport and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979, working full-time and going to law school at night.
Elected to the State Assembly from Columbia County, Faso quickly established himself as the leading fiscal conservative in the state legislature, challenging the prevailing tax, borrow and spend political culture in the state. He frequently led floor debates against fiscal gimmicks, such as raids on the state employee pension and workers compensation funds. Along with his colleague, then-Assemblyman George Pataki, Faso successfully sued Governor Mario Cuomo to require him to submit budget legislation on a timely basis.
Having earned a reputation as a fiscal and budget expert capable of creative problem-solving, Faso was asked by then Governor-elect George Pataki to chair his budget transition team in 1994. In this capacity, he supervised the state’s budget staff in drafting the initial Pataki budget proposal. While there, Faso developed an economic blueprint of tax and spending cuts that led to the first reduction in state spending in decades, closing a $5 billion deficit. Because of that service, Faso was named ranking Republican member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee by then Minority Leader Clarence Rappleyea.
During his service in the legislature, Faso promoted legislation to foster job creation, curb government spending, cut taxes, end parole for violent felons, and prohibit questionable borrowing by the state. Faso was also the original sponsor of charter school legislation in New York State and was a leading figure in the passage of Governor Pataki’s proposal in 1998 to create charter schools in New York State. His leadership on such issues led his colleagues to elect him Assembly Minority Leader in 1998.
Faso has been a consistent advocate to reform Albany’s notoriously secretive budget process, and adopt a constitutional amendment to permanently ban back-door borrowing by state authorities and the legislature without voter approval. He also advocated budget reforms that would require the legislature to pass a balanced budget and to clearly indicate the impact of changes in the enacted budget from that originally proposed by the Governor. Throughout his career, Faso has been an advocate for reform in the redistricting process and a host of other changes to open up New York’s political system.
Faso left his post as Minority Leader to run for state Comptroller in 2002 as the candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. Faso narrowly lost that race in the closest statewide race in New York that year.
In recognition for his outstanding public service and commitment to fiscal responsibility, Faso received the “Guardian of Small Business” award from the National Federation of Independent Businesses in 1996, and the “Distinguished Public Service” award from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy in 1997.
Faso is a partner in the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. He is also a board member of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, on which he has served since 2003. He lives in the Columbia County Village of Kinderhook with his wife of 25 years Mary Frances, and their two children Nicholas and Margaret.