About Timothy M. Kennedy

Chairman of Committee on Transportation

Democrat, Working Families Democrat, Working Families

Since being sworn into office in January 2011, Senator Tim Kennedy has fought to ensure Western New York sees its fair share of funding and state resources. In March 2019, three months after being named Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Tim delivered an unprecedented $100 million for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to fund a five year capital plan for maintenance and improvements of the Metro Rail. 

In his role as Chair, Tim has set an aggressive agenda. He sponsored legislation to allow municipalities to install cameras on school buses, in order to more effectively catch drivers who break the law and jeopardize student safety by passing stopped buses. He also spearheaded a package comprehensive limo safety reforms, in order to strengthen the industry standards and better protect New Yorkers who use alternative transportation. Tim drafted these reforms alongside the families of victims involved in limo crashes in Schoharie and Cutchogue. Both houses have passed these transportation priorities, and the Governor quickly signed them into law.

Throughout his time in office, Tim has kept a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable in our community. He spearheaded the passage of Jay-J’s law, legislation that stiffens penalties for repeat child abusers. The legislation was inspired by Jay-J Bolvin, a young boy who was brutally abused by his father. Sadly, Jay-J’s father received a light sentence due to antiquated sentencing laws, but through Tim’s advocacy, these penalties were strengthened. Tim also penned Jackie’s Law, which protects victims of domestic violence from GPS stalking, and was signed into law in 2014.

Tim knows the importance of growing and protecting Western New York’s workforce, which is why he was a supporter of the creation of the Northland Workforce Center on Buffalo’s East Side. He actively works to connect Western New Yorkers with job opportunities, whether through his jobs website, Kennedy Jobs File, or through his annual Queen City Job Fair, which draws hundreds of employers and job seekers every year. While he regularly works one-on-one with companies to establish roots in Buffalo, he strongly believes in preserving the city’s past. He led the call for $5 million of the Buffalo Billion funding to be dedicated towards the reuse and restructuring of Buffalo’s iconic Central Terminal, and helped to bring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to the Terminal for a full day East Side Festival, offering a free concert to thousands of Western New Yorkers. 

Tim is a lifelong Western New York resident. He grew up in a blue-collar family in Buffalo, where his parents, Marty and Mary Kennedy, raised Tim and his four siblings to work hard, focus on their education, help their neighbors, and get involved in their community. Tim attended St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute before going on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at D’Youville College. For 11 years, Tim worked with geriatric and pediatric populations to help them recover from injuries and fully participate in all life situations. As a licensed occupational therapist, Tim has spent his entire career working to help people.

Tim and his wife, Katie, live in the City of Buffalo where they are raising their three children, Connor, Eireann, and Padraic.