Mourning the death of former New York State Senator Joseph L. Bruno, dedicated political leader and strong advocate for the people o...

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Senate Resolution No. 3341

BY: Senator JORDAN

MOURNING the death of former New York State
Senator Joseph L. Bruno, dedicated political leader
and strong advocate for the people of this great
Empire State

WHEREAS, This Legislative Body, representing the people of the State
of New York, is moved this day to pay tribute to an eminent gentleman of
indomitable faith and dedication whose public service and countless
accomplishments will forever stand as a paradigm and inspiration for
others; and

WHEREAS, It is with profound sorrow and deep regret that this
Legislative Body records the passing of Joseph L. Bruno, noting the
significance of his purposeful life and triumphs; and

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno of Brunswick, New York, whose political
clout shaped some of the Capital Region's largest economic achievements,
died on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at the age of 91; and

WHEREAS, Serving as New York State's Senate Majority Leader for 14
years, Joseph L. Bruno was a true giant for his community, for
middle-class tax payers, and for Upstate New York; his handshake was his
bond, and in the chamber, he was consistently forthright with his
opinion yet could agree to disagree, always maintaining mutual respect
across party lines; and

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno was born on April 8, 1929, at the Glens
Falls, New York home of his parents, Vitaliano and Rachael Catherine
(Ricciardelli) Bruno, both of whom emigrated from Italy with their
families; he attended St. Mary's Academy where he learned Latin, and
became the top altar boy at his church; and

WHEREAS, The third-oldest of eight children, Joseph L. Bruno
established a strong work ethic at an early age; at just nine years-old,
he began delivering pastries before school to earn money for his family
to buy food, and a year later, he took a job selling the local newspaper
on street corners, receiving three cents for every paper sold; and

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno went on to earn a business degree from
Skidmore College before valiantly serving his country as a member of the
United States Army during the Korean War; he was promoted to Sergeant
First Class, and received a Bronze Service Star among other honors; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, while proudly serving overseas, this
extraordinary man became the undefeated light heavyweight champion of
the 25th Infantry Division; and

WHEREAS, Upon the completion of his military service, Joseph L.
Bruno worked in various businesses as a salesman before starting a
company called Coradian, successfully marketing the first digital phone
systems and office intercoms to government and business; and

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno began his illustrious political career when
he joined the campaign staff of Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1966, and
later became a special assistant to State Assembly Speaker Perry Duryea;
in 1976, he was elected to the New York State Senate's 43rd District,
representing Rensselaer and part of Saratoga counties; and

WHEREAS, In 1978, while Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on
Consumer Protection, the Motor Vehicle Warranty Replacement or Refund
Act, commonly referred to as the "Lemon Law," was passed; this
legislation would later become one of his landmark achievements; and

WHEREAS, Senator Joseph L. Bruno gained distinction as a toe-to-toe
lawmaker who brazenly challenged governors and who preferred climbing
the stairs to taking the elevator; during his tenure, he was
instrumental in New York State's economic development, and in reforming
the criminal justice system to keep violent criminals behind bars; and

WHEREAS, He also championed New York business interests and tax
cuts, and steadfastly supported many labor unions, including Local 1199
of the Service Employees International Union, a support brought on after
watching his father endure years of abuse in low-paying jobs; and

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno truly believed in the well-being of people
who worked in bars and restaurants and consequently, was influential in
passing an indoor smoking ban in March of 2003; the amendment to the
1989 Clean Indoor Air Act of 1989 banned smoking in bars, restaurants,
and other locations, including membership clubs like the VFW or Elks,
which hire people to staff their clubs; and

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno is revered throughout the Capital Region
for his tireless efforts to steer millions of dollars to upstate New
York; the 4,500-seat minor league baseball stadium at Hudson Valley
Community College (HVCC), dubbed The Joe, is named in his honor along
with parks, pavilions and a control room at the public broadcaster WMHT;

WHEREAS, Joseph L. Bruno also exerted much of his political muscle
in helping to improve the region's transportation hubs, such as the
Rensselaer Rail Station, and in creating a foundation for biotechnology
and nanotechnology industries across Upstate New York, including the
GlobalFoundaries computer-chip fabrication plant in Malta; and

WHEREAS, Predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Barbara "Bobbie"
Bruno, Joseph L. Bruno is survived by his loving partner, Kay Stafford;
four children, Joseph, Susan, Kenneth and Catherine; seven
grandchildren, Rachel, Nicholas, Richard, Elizabeth, Anna, Victoria and
Aiden; and one great-grandchild, Alessandra; as well as his sister,
Florence, and four brothers, Vitaliano, Arthur, Tony and Robert; and

WHEREAS, Uncle Joe, as he was so affectionately known by those who
knew and worked with him, was a true man of the people who never forgot
where he came from; he lived his life with purpose and gusto, and his
legacy will forever serve as a beacon of love for his family, friends,
and all who were privileged to have known and loved such an amazing man;

WHEREAS, Every citizen in New York State has most certainly
benefited, in one way or another, from the deep dedication, intelligence

and commitment Joseph L. Bruno brought to his work as a legislator and
public policy-maker; a loyal friend and trusted advisor, he will be
deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute of this Legislative
Body; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of former New York State Senator Joseph L. Bruno, and to
express its deepest condolences to his family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Joseph L. Bruno.


  • 16 / Oct / 2020

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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