Biography
NYS Senator Stephen M. Saland

 

Stephen M. Saland is a graduate of Poughkeepsie High School , the University of Buffalo, and Rutgers Law School. Senator Saland is a member of the Dutchess County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. He presently maintains a law practice at 75 Washington Street in Poughkeepsie, where he is of counsel to Gellert & Klein, P.C.

He has previously served as a Town Councilman in the Town of Wappinger. Prior to winning election to the New York State Senate in the 1990 General Election, Senator Saland served in the State Assembly from 1980 through 1990. Senator Saland represents the 41st Senate District which includes all of Columbia County and most of Dutchess County.

Senator Saland currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Majority Conference and Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee. He has served as the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Chairman of the Senate Children and Families Committee, Chairman of the Majority Steering Committee and Deputy Majority Leader for State/Federal Relations. He was responsible for reforming New York State's domestic violence law by drafting the "Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act," completely revamping the way in which the state of New York combats domestic violence. In 2000 Senator Saland won a major victory for school children and their families, when he authored legislation to protect children from abusive school employees. This legislation requires employees of public school districts to submit fingerprints allowing for extensive criminal history background checks.

Saland is the author of more than 350 laws affecting a wide variety of areas including criminal justice and victims' rights, domestic violence and child abuse, protecting the rights of those with autism and other disabilities, economic development and environmental protection, including the legislation creating the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

Senator Saland served as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) from 2001-2002. He also served as President of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures and currently serves as a member of its Board of Directors. He was appointed by former United States Attorney General Reno to the Working Group on Principles for the Federalization of Criminal Law. The Senator has been a featured speaker at the Brookings Institution discussing the impact of federalism on our criminal justice system. In April 2004 he was appointed Co-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Task Force on No Child Left Behind. In May of 2008, he was appointed Co-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislature’s Task Force on Federal Education Policy. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Democracy and Trade.

During his service in the Legislature he has received awards from numerous organizations, including the New York State School Boards Association (an unprecedented two-time recipient), the Metropolitan Police Conference, the New York State Corrections Officers, the New York State Association of Counties, the New York State Farm Bureau, the Federation on Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), Friends of Manufacturing Award, the Dutchess County Medical Society, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Columbia County Sportsmen's Federation, the American Lung Association of Northeastern New York, Association of New York State Youth Bureaus, Anderson School Community Service Award, the American Heart Association, the New York State Coalition for Children's Mental Health Services, the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Dutchess County and the St. Cabrini Home Gold Medal Award. He has also received St. Francis Hospital's Franciscan Award, and the Marist College President's Award for his dedication and service to the people of the Mid- Hudson Valley. Senator Saland has also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Marist College and the Gemini Award from Columbia-Greene Community College. Senator Saland, his wife Linda and their family were named "Family of the Year" by Family Services, Inc. Senator Saland and Mrs. Saland have received the Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce's Community Spirit Award.

He and his wife reside in the Town of Poughkeepsie and have four sons and four grandchildren.