Rockville Centre, New York , United States
|Last Modifed||e. dantes|
Dec 05, 2009 04:32pm
|Info||Currently serving his tenth term in the New York State Senate, Dean G. Skelos represents New York's 9th Senatorial District (Southwest Nassau County). In 1995, Senator Skelos was named he was named Deputy Majority Leader for Legislative Operations by Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. As Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Skelos plays a central role in the development of the Senate's legislative and governmental policy. |
On December 30, 2003, Senator Skelos was named chair of the New York State Senate NextGen Task Force. In this role, he was responsible for developing the Senate Majority�s high-technology and biotechnology economic development strategy. Based upon Senator Skelos� recommendations, the Senate Majority�s Excell-NY program included a variety of targeted tax incentives, investments and other measures that will establish New York State as the preeminent place for tomorrow�s companies to locate, create jobs and grow.
In 2002, Senator Skelos announced his landmark �Biotech Investment and Job Creation Program.� This $71.5 million public-private partnership includes $48 million in State funding to establish Long Island as the world�s preeminent center of biotechnology research, development and innovation. As the various components of this program are completed, they will directly result in thousands of high-paying jobs and generate new employment opportunities in related fields. More specifically, this initiative enhanced Long Island� research infrastructure, funded a new incubator facility for growing biotech businesses and improved the education of K-12 science and technology teachers.
Recognizing the importance of economic growth to the future prosperity of Long Island and the continuation of the region�s wonderful quality-of-life, Senator Skelos has championed several smart, job-creating tax cuts and initiatives. These include the 1999 repeal of the 33 year-old the non-resident earnings tax--paid by commuters working in New York City as part of their income tax. As signed by Governor Pataki, Senator Skelos' legislation repealing the commuter tax is saving Long Island commuters $120 million annually.
Further, Senator Skelos worked to secure 31% of the historic School Tax Relief (STAR) program�s total, statewide savings for Long Island taxpayers. As a result, eligible seniors in Nassau County have received a 42% reduction in their school tax bills, with all other local homeowners saving an average of 25%.
Acknowledged by State and regional business, labor, religious and community groups, Senator Skelos built upon his legacy of enacting far-reaching legislative initiatives in 2002. Among his 30 bills signed into law during the last State Legislative Session, Senator Skelos authored laws protecting the religious freedom of employees and requiring fingerprinting and criminal background checks for all stock exchange employees.
In 2002, Senator Skelos also was awarded the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations� (NECO) Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Originally sanctioned by Congress in 1986, the Medal is presented to outstanding American citizens from all walks of life who have distinguished themselves among their specific ethnic group. Presented annually in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island, past recipients include six Presidents of the United States, members of Congress, Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, prominent scientists and outstanding military heroes such as Generals Norman Schwartzkopf and Colin Powell.
In 1998, Senator Skelos was appointed by Governor George Pataki to represent the State Senate on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority�s four-person Capital Program Review Board. As a member of the Board, Senator Skelos must review, monitor and approve the MTA's multi-billion dollar five-year capital spending program. In May 2000, the Senator approved a five-year $17.1 billion plan, including the first major MTA systems expansion in over 50 years.
As a result of Senator Skelos' tireless commitment to education and children, every family�regardless of income or college choice�is benefiting from the nation�s full state income tax deduction for college tuition expenses. This initiative is the centerpiece of Senator Skelos� plan to increase the affordability of a college education.
In addition, Senator Skelos has fought to provide school districts throughout the Ninth Senatorial District with unprecedented levels of State aid and funding for education-enhancing new technology/programs.
Working to ensure the safety of our communities, Senator Skelos authored New York State�s Sex Offender Registration Act in 1995. Commonly referred to as "Megan's Law," this statute requires the registration of released convicted sex offenders and provides mechanisms for community notification. Building on this strong foundation, Senator Skelos has written laws that help prevent child abduction and establish the Missing and Exploited Children�s Clearinghouse Fund.
The Senator was also instrumental in the creation of the Health Research Science Law and Pesticide Registry, which enables scientists in New York State to investigate all possible causes of cancer and, hopefully, find a cure. Senator Skelos was the Senate Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Breast Cancer and Pesticides that drafted this historic legislation.
He served as Assemblyman of the 19th District for two years prior to his election to the State Senate in 1984. Upon entering the Senate in 1985, he was named Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Aging, a post in which he served with distinction for ten years.
Of his many achievements as the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, his most notable was the creation of a program to assist senior citizens with the expense of prescription drug purchases. After establishing the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program in 1987, Senator Dean Skelos became a household name within New York�s growing senior community.
Since 1989, Senator Skelos has served as the Co-Chairman of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. As such, he was responsible for redrawing New York State Senate, Assembly and Congressional district boundaries following both the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census.
Senator Skelos is a member of several national organizations including the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF), National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC) and National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL). Senator Skelos has held numerous leadership positions within these associations, including his election to the SLLF�s Board of Directors in 1998. This non-profit, non-partisan, non-ideological national leadership organization is composed of, and limited to, 350 Senate Presidents, House Speakers, Majority Leaders, Minority Leaders from across the nation.
As the New York State Senate�s second-ranking member, Senator Skelos is an ex officio member of all Senate committees. In addition, he is a standing member of the Senate�s Rules, Finance, Judiciary, Insurance, Codes, Civil Service and Pensions and Investigations, Taxation and Government Operations committees. Moreover, the Senator holds positions on numerous special Senate task forces.
Born, raised and educated in Rockville Centre, he graduated from South Side High School in 1966. In 1970, Senator Skelos received a B.A. in History from Washington College in Maryland and, after attending at night, he graduated from Fordham University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1975. That year, he was admitted to practice law in New York State. Senator Skelos resides in Rockville Centre with his wife, Gail, and son, Adam. Currently, he is of counsel to the law firm of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C. and is a member of the Valley Stream Elks, Sons of Italy, Rockville Center Kiwanis and the Order of AHEPA.
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