Senator Thomas W. Libous (R-C-I: Binghamton) is the New York State Senator representing the 52nd Senate District representing Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware Counties. He is serving his fourteenth term in the New York State Senate. He is currently Deputy Majority Coalition Leader.
Libous is a member of the Republican Party but is also endorsed by the Conservative and Independence Parties. He has served as Chair of the Transportation Committee, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee and the Select Committee on the Disabled.
Early Life and Education
Tom Libous grew up on Johnson City's North Side and attended Johnson City Central School District. As a kid, he proudly worked at his family's grocery store in Binghamton, which taught him the value of a dollar and the meaning of hard work.
Libous graduated from Broome Community College in 1973 and from the State University of New York at Utica in 1975, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance with honors.
Private Sector Career
Libous returned to Binghamton after graduation and was employed by Chase Lincoln First Bank, North America from 1975 through 1983. His record of achievement at that institution was recognized when he was elected an officer of the bank at age 27 and promoted to the position of Director of Marketing.
In 1983, Libous became Vice-President of Marketing for the Johnson City Publishing Company in Binghamton. He held that position until his election to the New York State Senate.
As a part-time instructor at Broome Community College, Libous has taught courses in banking, marketing and finance.
Libous started his political career working on various campaigns for his uncle, Binghamton Mayor Alfred Libous.
In 1984, Libous was elected to Binghamton City Council representing the City's South Side. He was reelected in 1987 and served as the Council’s Minority Leader. He also served as President of the NYS Association of City Councils.
New York State Senate
In 1988, Libous was elected to the New York State Senate, succeeding Senate Majority Leader Warren M. Anderson.
In 2008, he was named the Senate’s Deputy Majority Leader and then became the Deputy Minority Leader and Chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in 2009.
In 2010, he was again named the Senate’s Deputy Majority Leader.
In 2012, he was named the Senate’s Deputy Majority Coalition Leader.
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Committee Chair
From 1989 to 1993, Libous Chaired the Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Committee. While serving as Chairman, he sponsored landmark legislation to consolidate the Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (DAAA) and the Division of Substance Abuse Services (DSAS) into the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. He also sponsored legislation to help curb underage drinking by creating alcohol awareness classes as an alternative punishment, requiring schools to teach the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and limiting the forms of ID that can be used to purchase alcohol.
Chair of the Select Committee on the Disabled
Senator Libous also served as Chair of the Select Committee on the Disabled from 1990-2008, where he fought to protect and improve services for vulnerable New Yorkers by creating the Traumatic Brain Injury Program. He also authored legislation giving Tax Credits to those who hire persons with disabilities and legislation adopting Reasonable Accommodations as part of State law.
Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair
From 1994 to 2000, Libous Chaired the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, which oversees two major State agencies – the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Persons With Developmental Disabilities. As Chairman, he fought for Workforce Reinvestment, authored legislation providing tax credits to employers who hire persons with disabilities, and sponsored the bill that created "Kendra's Law."
Transportation Committee Chair
From 2005 to 2008, Libous chaired the Transportation Committee, which oversees the work of the Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Thruway Authority and other agencies. In that role, Tom fought to increase funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program that helps fix our roads and bridges and keep local taxes down. He also secured funding to purchase public works equipment to be shared by towns and villages in Broome, Tioga and Chenango Counties.
As Senator, he has worked on economic development deals to bring and retain thousands of jobs to the Southern Tier, helped convince the Ottawa Senators to locate its American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, brought the PGA Champions Tour's Dick's Sporting Goods Open golf tournament to Endicott, and kept the AA-Level Binghamton Mets Baseball Club in the Southern Tier.
In 1989, Libous founded YES! Safe Choices for Kids (now a partnership with Lourdes Hospital) to help kids learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Each year, YES! trains hundreds of high school students to teach the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse to elementary school students, sponsors local events and programming and offers a drug and alcohol prevention resources for families on its website, www.YesSafeChoices.org.
In 1998, Libous founded the Student Community Service Awards (SCSA) through a partnership with WBNG-TV and Broome-Tioga BOCES. Each year, the SCSA program awards scholarships to high school seniors based on community volunteer work. Each honoree is selected by his or her school district. To date, over 400 students have received scholarships through SCSA.
In 2000, he founded BOOKS (now a partnership with SUNY-Morrisville) to encourage kids to become better readers. BOOKS takes a unique position on reading by rewarding kids for time spent reading rather than for the number of books finished and offers a variety of resources encouraging children to read on its website, www.BooksProgram.com.
In 2006, Libous partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension to found Buy From the Backyard, which encourages the community to find the value in buying locally grown produce and offers unique recipes using only locally grown products on its website, www.BuyFromTheBackyard.com.
Throughout his career as a state senator, Libous has been one of Binghamton University’s most ardent supporters. He’s worked to secure well over $150 million in capital funding to help BU grow through projects like the Downtown Center, the Innovative Technologies Complex, the Events Center, the Pharmacy School and the Watson Engineering Building.
Libous lives in Deposit with his wife, Fran, who formerly served as Vice Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. The couple has two grown sons--Matt and Nick.
In 2009, Libous was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent treatment while still serving as State Senator. In 2010, he founded I Turned Pro to encourage men over age 50 to talk to their doctors about the risk for prostate cancer.