August 28, 2009
I have received several letters expressing frustration with some of the recent personnel issues in the New York State Senate. I share your frustration, but added to that is my embarrassment. When I decided to seek election to the New York State Senate, I did it as a continuation of my public service for our community. Prior to running for office, I was very active as a board member of Arbor House, a residence for women in need, attorney for St. Annes’ Institute and did quite a bit of work for Hope House, a drug treatment facility. Also, I served as the Vice President of the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. I entered public service to continue to help my community Albany County. I am proud of the work that I have done for the community and I am proud of my record in the New York State Senate.
I do not condone the hiring of Senator Espada’s son. I do not condone many of the other personnel issues that have happened over the past few weeks. I am embarrassed that the work that I have accomplished may be tainted by the actions and decisions of one individual. I am not consulted about personnel decisions that are made by the Leaders of the Conference.
I thought that when the stalemate ended on July 9th, we would finally get back to the business that we were elected to do, and that is where I have been directing my efforts. As Chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, we have passed legislation to improve managed care in New York State, we have extended insurance benefits to young adults under their parent’s policies until age 29, and we have improved COBRA coverage for laid off workers. I have more work ahead of me. We are currently preparing hearings to discuss the need for insurance coverage for children suffering from autism and we will also be holding hearings and developing legislation to address the state’s ongoing medical malpractice crisis.
It is up to voters like you to hold your elected officials accountable. I hope that I am judged on my record, and not someone else’s.
Neil D. Breslin, State Senator