In November 2014, Senator Skelos was re-elected to his sixteenth term in the New York State Senate. He now serves as Temporary President and Majority Leader of the chamber.
Senator Skelos, the highest-ranking Republican official in state government, has long been an outspoken advocate for reducing taxes, controlling government spending and helping the private sector create new jobs. He was also elected Majority Leader of the Senate by his colleagues on two other occasions, in June 2008 and January 2011, and was Co-Leader of the Senate’s historic governing coalition in 2013-14.
Under Senator Skelos’ leadership, Republicans have reached across the aisle to work with Governor Cuomo and legislative Democrats to begin to turn New York around. During that time, the Legislature enacted a property tax cap, passed four consecutive on-time state budgets, brought spending under control and ended the dysfunction that once plagued Albany.
As the author of Megan’s Law, Senator Skelos created the New York State Sex Offender Registry and authored numerous measures strengthening this powerful statute, including the Workplace and Campus Registration acts and laws establishing lifetime registration for dangerous sexual predators and posting information and photos about more sex offenders on the internet. In 2008, Senator Skelos worked with then Attorney General Cuomo to enact the new e-STOP law which prevents registered sex offenders from accessing social networking websites, including MySpace and Facebook, and prohibiting online communication between sex offenders and children.
In addition, Senator Skelos wrote laws eliminating the statute-of-limitations in cases of rape and violent sexual assault. To fight fraud, waste and abuse in the state’s Medicaid program and save billions of dollars for state and local taxpayers, Senator Skelos authored the nation’s most sweeping Medicaid fraud law in 2006.
Senator Skelos also wrote the law eliminating the unfair New York City “Commuter Tax” and, during his tenure as the Senate Aging Committee Chairman, the law creating the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (“EPIC”) program.
Prior to his election to the State Senate in 1984, Senator Skelos represented New York State’s 19th Assembly District for two years.
Born, raised and educated in Rockville Centre, he graduated from South Side High School, Class 1966. In 1970, Senator Skelos received a B.A. in History from Washington College in Maryland and, after attending at night, graduated from Fordham University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1975.
He lives with his wife Gail in Rockville Centre and has a grown son, Adam. He has two grandchildren, Dean and Dylan.