Springville Journal Election 2012 coverage: New York State Senate
BY: Springville Journal Staff | November 02, 2012
New York 59th Senate District
Barring a write-in campaign, incumbent State Senator Patrick Gallivan – who first won his seat in 2010 – is on course for a second, two-year term, as he is running unopposed. Gallivan’s name will appear on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines.
In November of 2010, Gallivan was elected as New York state senator for the 59th District.
During his first term in the Senate, Gallivan drafted and introduced more than 20 bills that would be signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Elected on a platform of “reforming Albany and revitalizing the Western New York economy,” Gallivan focused his first term agenda on fiscal responsibility, economic development, strengthening the state’s agriculture industry, honesty in government and advocating on behalf of taxpayers, sportsmen and small businesses.
He focused on the New York state property tax cap, ethics reform, UB 2020, prescription drug tracking and in crafting two budgets that closed deficits, through shrinking the state government, cutting taxes and reducing spending.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos named Gallivan chairman of the senate’s commerce, economic development and small business committee in June. Gallivan also chairs the Senate’s social services committee and serves on the Senate’s committees on agriculture, banks, codes, crime victims, crime and corrections, cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation, elections, housing, labor and state-native American relations.
Gallivan said that Medicaid reform and mandate relief are among his top priorities. In September 2011, Gallivan drafted and introduced a piece of Medicaid reform legislation. His proposal would eliminate Medicaid’s “mandate burden on local governments, allowing them to better operate within the property tax cap, protect vital services and reduce property taxes on families and business. This legislation has received notoriety and widespread support from across the state and was partially included in the 2012-13 enacted state budget.”
Gallivan also authored legislation to reform regulations on private business, like New York state’s “Scaffold Law” and New York’s income tax structure, by implementing an income tax cap.
Prior to representing Western New York in the Senate, Gallivan was twice elected sheriff of Erie County, serving as Upstate New York’s most populated county’s chief law enforcement official from 1998 – 2005. As sheriff, Gallivan was responsible for overseeing county police and patrol services, the enforcement of civil process, ensuring courtroom security and managing county jail management services. He supervised approximately 1,100 employees and administered an approximately $80 million budget.
As sheriff, Gallivan authored and implemented a strategic plan, which he said “charted the course for the professional, ethical, cost-effective and community-oriented delivery of criminal justice services by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.”
He reorganized that agency and oversaw the merger of the Erie County Holding Center and the Erie County Correctional Facility, as well as the consolidation of central booking with the Buffalo Police Department. Gallivan helped to establish a professional standards unit, an internal inspection program, an overtime monitoring program and a sick leave program. He said that his administrative reforms reduced “unnecessary overtime and abuse of sick leave.” Gallivan also started Erie County’s first computer crime unit, a domestic violence and violence-prevention division, a juvenile bureau, a warrant squad and a technology and advancement division.
Before being elected sheriff, Gallivan served for 15 years in the New York State Police Department, advancing from trooper to captain. He is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute and the FBI National Academy and is a past member of the New York State Executive Committee on Counter-Terrorism.
Gallivan is also a small business owner, founding and operating a full-service professional investigation and security firm.
Gallivan also previously served as a member of the New York State Board of Parole.
Gallivan holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany and is a graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo. He lives in Elma with his wife Mary Pat and children Jenna and Conor.
New York 57th Senate District
State Senator Catharine Young is seeking re-election to the 57th district, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties and parts of Livingston county.
Young worked to stop tax hikes proposed by NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, voted to cut taxes on small businesses and manufacturers, in an effort to create more jobs, advanced the 2 percent property tax cap to reign in property taxes and controlled state spending, through budgeting.
“Voters expect and deserve positive results, which we have been able to accomplish by working in a bi-partisan partnership with Governor Andrew Cuomo,” she said. “Although we have made progress, there is much more that needs to be done to grow jobs and make New York’s business climate competitive. It is a combination of eliminating burdensome red tape and laws that impede economic growth, reducing our tax burden and establishing common sense incentives.”
Young co-sponsored a job creation incentive package that included tax cuts and job creation credits, tax reductions for small business and manufacturers, a job creation credit-based on new job-related personal income taxes, and a repeal of a 500 percent hike in utility taxes. The plan has passed the Senate.
“We need to rev up the economy and create private sector jobs to get people back to work and have career opportunities, so our young people can stay [in New York state] after they graduate. I am committed to advancing common sense policies to achieve these goals,” she said.
Young has been endorsed by the Business Council of New York State, Unshackle Upstate and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. She is a member of the Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends.
Young is the Senate liaison to the executive chamber; chair of the standing committee on housing, construction and community development and chair of the bipartisan commission on rural resources. She also is a member of committees, including finance, health, agriculture, environmental conservation, transportation, insurance and children and families.
Young ranks No. 1 in having the most legislation passed in the Senate, during the past two years, with 125 of her bills’ being approved. She ranks first in the state Legislature for passing two-house bills, with 56 of her initiatives’ being approved by both the Republican-led Senate and Democrat-controlled Assembly in the 2011 and 2012 sessions, according to data compiled by the New York State Public Interest Research Group.
She also negotiated several of her initiatives in the final state budgets, including a tax abatement that is revitalizing downtowns by incentivizing private sector investment to restore historic buildings and bring in small businesses and commerce. She also spearheaded funding for a telehealth demonstration project, to increase rural access to health care by allowing senior citizens to stay in their homes longer.
“We can and we must restore hope, opportunity and prosperity, by making New York state an affordable place to live, work, do business and raise a family,” she said.
Young, who is running unopposed, is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.