Lanza anticipates renewed majority role

Andrew J Lanza

October 28, 2010

From the State Island Advance:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - When he was first elected, in 2006, state Sen. Andrew Lanza sat in the Republican majority. As such, he said, he was able to shepherd legislation important to the borough, including the creation of a separate judicial district for Staten Island.

But since the Senate flipped Democratic in 2008, giving Dems a slim majority, Lanza (R-Staten Island) said GOP members have been thwarted when it comes to advancing important measures, including, he said, followup legislation to create a full complement of 13th Judicial District slots to elect Island jurists.

In the coming session, Lanza said he wants to continue to focus on Internet abuse crimes, and promised to craft a bill mandating school bus service for children who live in cities of 1 million people or more as a way of forcing New York City to restore yellow buses here.

This election cycle, Lanza, 46, of Great Kills, a practicing attorney, finds himself in the enviable position of running unopposed, and said "all indications are that (the Senate) is poised for a change" back into Republican hands.

Despite his current minority status, Lanza said he was "very vocal and took a leading role of the loyal opposition" on tax-and-spend measures, including "standing up to Democrats on the $14 billion in new taxes."

"If I hadn't, I believe more would have occurred," said Lanza, noting he voted against the budget. "Sometimes, it's enough to bring attention to the issues."

Lanza also pointed to his "vocal opposition" to the naming of Jay Walder as MTA chairman, who he felt lacked an appreciation of Island transportation woes, and to MTA payroll tax hikes, which "raised fares, fees and tolls."

Along those lines, Lanza said the state must "roll back the oppressive tax burden that is forcing families to leave the state and hemorrhaging jobs." He called for "targeted tax cuts" and an end to "Medicaid fraud" and "bloated state agencies."

Said Lanza: "There are three things we need to do: Create a business-friendly climate, reduce the tax burden and not punish families for living here."

Lanza's name will appear on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines.