|Name||Alexander B. "Pete" Grannis|
New York, New York , United States
|| January 06, 1942
Oct 20, 2004 03:15pm
|Info||Pete Grannis was first elected to the Assembly in the fall of 1974 and represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. He serves as a full-time legislator. |
Mr. Grannis, as chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee since 1992, has authored landmark legislation on behalf of consumers, including New York's precedent-setting Community Rating/Open Enrollment law which revolutionized the way small group and individual health insurance policies are sold in the state. As a result of his work, New York banned health care discrimination in the individual and small group markets on the basis of a person's age, sex, health condition or occupation and, for the first time, provided complete portability of health insurance coverage by closing gaps in the law which had allowed consumers to lose their coverage when they changed jobs or insurers. Many states followed New York in adopting similar provisions, and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 incorporates much of the portability standard enacted four years earlier in New York.
Mr. Grannis also has authored a long list of consumer protection laws for people in managed care plans that are among the strongest in the nation, and he is a leader in the fight to expand access to high quality health care coverage for all New Yorkers. His 1996 Managed Care Consumer Protection Act set out a range of new provisions to improve disclosure to consumers, regulate utilization review activities, outlaw so-called gag provisions on providers, establish due process standards for credentialing and termination of health care providers and enhance access to specialty care.
Mr. Grannis has developed important consumer legislation in the life, property and casualty areas as well, including a pioneering law requiring life insurance companies to report annually on the socially responsive investments and charitable contributions they make in New York, and measures to ensure the availability of homeowners' insurance in coastal areas. As co-chair of the Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Auto Insurance, he has championed far-reaching reforms designed to bring down New York's high automobile insurance rates.
As a member of the Assembly Task Force on Workers' Compensation, Mr. Grannis helped develop and negotiate reforms resulting in dramatic reductions in workers' compensation rates. A key component was Mr. Grannis' legislation requiring insurers to crack down on insurance fraud rather than passing on the costs of this crime to consumers.
Prior to his appointment to the Insurance Committee, Mr. Grannis served for ten years as Chairman of the Assembly Housing Committee, where he was the leading legislative voice on behalf of tenants' rights and protections and crafted many of the state's major affordable housing programs for homeless, as well as low-, moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers. In addition to leading the fight to preserve affordable housing and strengthen laws governing buildings undergoing co-op conversion, Mr. Grannis has led the battle in Albany for property tax relief for owners of cooperative and condominium apartments.
While known for his work in insurance and housing, Mr. Grannis has also been recognized as a leader on a wide range of other issues, including public health, environmental protection, lobbying, campaign finance, election law, ethics and court reforms, and animal protection initiatives. He received the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Public Service Award in 1996 in recognition of his efforts in promoting the humane treatment of animals.
As a nationally recognized leader in the fight to limit smoking, Mr. Grannis authored New York's Clean Indoor Air Act, which long stood as the most comprehensive set of restrictions on smoking in public and work places in the nation. His Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act was cited as the strongest state action to protect teenagers from tobacco addiction and limit their access to cigarettes. He has been recognized for his work by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the NY Chapter of the American Lung Association, which awarded him its prestigious Hall of Fame Award in 1996, the first time the award was given to a legislator, and its Life and Breath award in 1999. In 2000, Mr. Grannis' bill requiring the nation's tobacco companies to produce a fire-safe cigarette that will not ignite materials such as bed clothing and furniture was signed into law, ending his eighteen year effort to curb the fire starting propensities of this deadly product. The first law in the country to address directly how cigarettes are manufactured, this life saving measure
bans sales in New York starting in 2003 of any product not meeting the fire safety standard.
A former chairman of the Assembly Subcommittee on Urban Health Care, Mr. Grannis authored the state's Generic Drug Law, which dramatically reduced prescription drug costs for consumers, and was a principal architect of the state's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program (EPIC).
A three-time winner of the Legislator of the Year award from the Environmental Planning Lobby and accorded similar honors by the Audubon Society, the Environmental Action Coalition and Environmental Advocates, Mr. Grannis has championed environmental issues throughout his service in the legislature. He has played a key role in the enactment of a wide range of legislation, including measures dealing with acid rain, clean air and water, fluorocarbons and recycling. He chaired the Assembly's first Subcommittee on Toxic Wastes, sponsored legislation ensuring a worker's right to know about hazardous materials in the work place and has worked to regulate the transport, storage and disposal of toxic wastes. His other environmental interests include preservation of open spaces, reducing packaging waste, bringing New York into compliance with the federal Clean Air Act, and preserving the beauty and irreplaceable resources of the Adirondacks.
Mr. Grannis wrote the state's rapid transit noise code and has been in the forefront of the fight to force the MTA to convert its polluting diesel bus fleet to clean fuels. He has long been a leading proponent of expanding access to prenatal care, protecting women's access to abortion services, reforming the foster care system and increasing funding of public education and mass transit.
Mr. Grannis lives with his family in his district on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of the Loomis School, Rutgers University and the University of Virginia Law School. Prior to entering the Assembly, Mr. Grannis practiced law in New York City and served as Compliance Counsel for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.