About Todd Kaminsky
Chair of Environmental Conservation Committee
From the courtroom to the capitol, Todd Kaminsky has dedicated his life to public service, delivering real results for New Yorkers.
Todd first worked as a prosecutor for nearly a decade, bringing corrupt politicians, fraudsters, drug dealers and violent criminals to justice. As Acting Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York's Public Integrity Section, covering Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens, Todd took down corrupt elected officials who used taxpayer dollars to fund lavish lifestyles. These prosecutions included former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., Assemblyman Jimmy Meng and Congressman Michael Grimm. New York Magazine said Todd “was particularly good at convicting corrupt legislators.” Todd also went after drug kingpins and other major felons, such as notorious gangster James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, for which he was presented with the True American Hero Award from the Federal Drug Agents Foundation. Prior to his work as a federal prosecutor, Todd served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s office, where he prosecuted domestic violence cases, robberies, shootings and other crimes.
During his time as a prosecutor, Todd also worked vigorously as a community advocate for the South Shore. He organized free legal clinics for those affected by superstorm Sandy, and helped bring tens of thousands of dollars in relief funds to local residents. For his efforts, he was awarded the Community Service Award from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Long Beach Martin Luther King Center’s Sandy Relief Service Award.
After winning election to the State Legislature in 2014, Todd represented New York’s 20th Assembly District on Long Island, where he passed the most bills of any freshman Assemblymember in the chamber's history and the fourth-most bills of the legislative session. He played a leading role in calling for ethics reform in state government, as noted in Newsday, who said “newly elected reformers such as Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted public corruption cases, are demanding new standards of behavior.”
Locally, Todd championed the effort to reopen an emergency room on the Long Beach Barrier Island, succeeded in stopping National Grid from charging Sandy victims for gas connections when rebuilding their homes, and led the opposition to the Port Ambrose offshore Liquefied Natural Gas terminal. Governor Cuomo announced his veto of the proposed project alongside Todd in November 2015.
In April 2016, the people of the South Shore elected Todd to the State Senate to continue fighting for Long Islanders. As a Senator, Todd has been a crusader for clean government, tax relief and quality education, and a vigorous advocate for the environment, individuals with disabilities, veterans, first responders, and Israel.
Todd is a leader on ethics reform, sponsoring legislation to strip pensions from corrupt officials, ban outside income for politicians, strengthen anti-bribery laws, bolster penalties for public corruption and protect taxpayer dollars by increasing oversight of local government contracting. Following the overturned conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Todd wrote a guest column in the New York Daily News advocating for ethics reform while laying out a plan to restore New Yorkers’ trust in government.
Todd has led the fight for improving Long Island's commuter rail system. He helped secure millions of dollars for area LIRR stations, held a "Rally for a Sane Commute,” and successfully requested Legislative Hearings with Amtrak officials, where they were questioned on the poor state of infrastructure and service at Penn Station. In anticipation of the “Summer of Hell,” Todd also called for across-the-board fare reductions for commuters. Todd advocated for alternative transportation options, including calling for the MTA to explore a Manhattan-bound ferry route from the South Shore.
A Long Island native, Todd has been a strong advocate for lower taxes, good jobs and a strong economy. He helped pass the largest middle-class income tax cuts in 70 years, voted more than 245 times against raising taxes and voted for a permanent cap on property taxes. Todd also secured tax breaks for Sandy victims and has rallied to reform Industrial Development Agencies to protect tax dollars.
Todd has been a staunch advocate for volunteer firefighters, EMS workers and law enforcement officers. He championed a bill through the Legislature providing unlimited paid sick days for 9/11 first responders who have sustained illnesses stemming from their service at Ground Zero. He also fought to enhance healthcare coverage for firefighters who have contracted cancer while volunteering in the line of duty.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, Todd has been a champion for preserving and protecting Long Island’s air, soil and water. He led the charge to regulate the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-Dioxane in drinking water and introduced legislation to ban the carcinogen from everyday consumer products. Todd has also sponsored measures to promote sources of renewable energy, including solar and wind. Additionally, he successfully advocated to restrict the vaping of e-cigarettes in indoor locations.
Todd is the statewide leader in the fight to expand access to high school diplomas for students with special needs. He has also fought to fix New York’s broken standardized testing system for students, while ending the reign of Common Core in classrooms. Todd has boosted funding for local schools –– an increase of more than $8 million for local schools in his district this past year alone.
Importantly, Todd has secured help for countless superstorm Sandy victims and state funding for resiliency projects.
Todd was named one of City & State’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars and one of the New York Observer’s Top 40 Albany Power Players.
Todd received his law degree, magna cum laude, from New York University, and his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan.
Todd and his wife, Ellen, have been married since 2010. They live in Long Beach with their sons Rafe and Rory.