Kevin Law at a 2019 regional economic development council awards...

Kevin Law at a 2019 regional economic development council awards ceremony in Albany. Credit: Hans Pennink

Local executive Kevin Law was approved by the state Senate on Friday to serve as board chairman of Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

The position is unpaid, and Law said he will continue to work at Tritec Real Estate Co. as a partner and executive vice president. He joined the East Setauket-based developer last year after leading the Long Island Association business group for 10½ years.

Law, 62, of St. James, was among 80 nominations from Gov. Kathy Hochul that senators ratified at 12:15 a.m. on Friday in a single voice vote. All will serve on state boards and authorities without compensation.

Nearly three hours later, the Senate ended its regular session for the year.

Hochul tapped Law to serve as ESD board chair in October but he couldn’t join the agency until his appointment was confirmed by the Senate.

Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck), chairwoman of the Senate's economic development committee, told Newsday that Law “has the experience and commitment necessary to steer an important government agency like ESD. … I know he’ll always look out for Long Island and make sure we get our fair shake.”

Law knows the process that ESD uses to award tax credits and grants to companies because he was co-vice chairman of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council from 2011 until April. The council recommends projects to Albany for funding.

Before being hired by the LIA, Law was president and CEO of the Long Island Power Authority.

After Friday's vote, Law said, “I hope to help grow our economy by attracting and retaining businesses, creating new jobs, and to help train the next workforce for our region and our state.”

The developers’ group Association for a Better Long Island hailed Law’s appointment.

“One can expect Kevin to be particularly sensitive to the current business climate of Long Island, which remains a significant economic engine for the entire state and needs to be further strengthened," said Kyle Strober, the group’s executive director.

On May 4, the Senate ratified Hochul's appointment of Hope Knight, a Queens economic developer, to the paid job of ESD CEO.

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