Bronx, New York , United States
|| September 25, 1944
|Died||January 27, 2011
Jan 27, 2011 04:43pm
Italian - Imprisoned - Catholic -
|Info||Senator Guy J. Velella was born in East Harlem, New York City, on September 25, 1944. He received his elementary education in the public schools and graduated from Christopher Columbus High School. In 1967, he graduated from St. John's University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received his Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, Mass., in 1970. On May 31, 1990, Senator Velella received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. |
In 1972, Senator Velella was elected to the New York State Assembly as the representative of the 80th Assembly District in Bronx County. During his Assembly tenure, Senator Velella was responsible for the passage of many landmark pieces of legislation, including the first Senior Citizen Prescription Drug bill, the Generic Drug Law, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and mandatory jail sentences for violent criminals.
He is both a long-standing Republican County and State Committeeman and was a delegate to each of the Republican National Conventions from 1980 to 2000. He has also served as a member of the New York State Electoral College.
From 1983 to 1986, Senator Velella was Special Counsel to the Minority Leader of the Assembly and was elected President of Community School Board 11 in the Bronx during the same period (1985- 86).
Senator Velella was first elected to the New York State Senate on April 22, 1986 and was re-elected in November 2000 for his eighth two-year term.
In January of 1995, Senator Velella was appointed Senior Assistant Majority Leader and in January of 1999, was named Senate Liaison to the Executive Branch. Senator Velella served as Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee from January of 1989 to January of 1999.
During his service in the Senate, Senator Velella has sponsored important legislation, including the first Safety Code for Amusement Parks in New York State and the first Consumer Bill of Rights for Cable-TV Subscribers. He also sponsored legislation requiring open enrollment and community rating of all health insurance policies, and prohibiting discrimination against women in public restrooms. Other important legislation sponsored by Senator Velella include mandatory insurance coverage for mothers and newborns to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after delivery and mandatory insurance coverage for a hospital stay after a mastectomy as well as coverage for reconstructive surgery.
Senator Velella is also responsible for the monumental "Baby AIDS" law requiring HIV testing for newborns and informing mothers of the results as well as the "HIV Partner Notification Act." In addition, Senator Velella sponsored landmark legislation, entitled "The Holocaust Victims Insurance Act of 1998" to assist Holocaust victims and their families in the recovery of assets that are rightfully theirs.
In 1986, Senator Velella succeeded to the Chairmanship of the Republican Bronx County Committee and currently serves as County Chairman. He is also Chairman of the New York State Senate Campaign Committee.
A partner in the law firm of Velella, Velella, Basso and Calandra since 1971, Senator Velella is admitted to practice before all City, County and State Courts, as well as the Federal Courts of both the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Senator Velella is a past-Grand Knight and District Deputy of the St. Luke's Council Knights of Columbus. He has served as adjunct professor at Lehman College and is a former member of Daytop Village's Board of Directors