Democrat Adam Haber, who is challenging Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) for the State Senate’s 7th District seat, took aim at the incumbent’s legislative record at a news conference in Hicksville this week.
Haber, an East Hills businessman and Roslyn school board member, spoke in front of the Hicksville Career Center on Monday where he criticized Martins for not supporting a vote on all 10 points of the proposed Women’s Equality Act during the past legislative session, and for passing what Haber called a “watered down” minimum wage increase. He also questioned Martins’ leadership in responding to the backlash over Common Core education standards that rely heavily on testing.
“Jack Martins had plenty of opportunities to improve the lives of Nassau County residents this year, but he failed us repeatedly,” Haber said in a news release.
Martins’ spokesman, Chris Schneider, said Haber “in his desperation to create issues, again didn’t do his homework before talking about them.”
Schneider said Martins voted for reforms to the Common Core implementation included in this year’s state budget, and organized a community forum in Mineola last November featuring New York State Education Commissioner, Dr. John B. King Jr., to hear parent and educator concerns over the new education standards.
Schneider said Haber was “silent on Common Core as a school board member.” Haber said as part of his campaign he has met with the majority of school superintendents in the district to get their input on how to successfully roll out the new education standards.
Last year, Martins joined lawmakers in voting to increase the wage from $8 to $9 starting on Dec. 31, 2015, but Haber maintains that figure is “too low to support working families, and said he supports a plan that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, indexed to inflation.
Haber also attacked Martins and Senate Republicans for not voting for all 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act. The package of bills tackled a host of issues, including pay equity and added protections for domestic violence victims, but Republicans including Martins opposed the last point of the plan dealing with abortion, contending it amounted to “abortion expansion.”
Haber said he is an “unequivocal supporter of all 10 points of the Women’s Equality Act.” Schneider said Martins favored an approach also advocated by Sen. Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) that would have put each point of the plan up for an individual vote, instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach.