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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY

JAMES D. CONTE

REPUBLICAN

BACKGROUND:

Conte, 45, of Huntington Station, also is on the Conservative line. He has

represented the district since 1988. Before that he worked for former

Republican county executive Michael LoGrande and was a legislative aide to his

predecessor in the Assembly, Republican Toni Rettaliata.

ISSUES: Conte sponsored a bill that would allow retired teachers to return

to work without losing their pension benefits to address the shortage of

qualified teachers. He helped pass Stephanie's Law, which made video voyeurism

a felony, where the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy and has not

given his or her consent. He sponsored a bill mandating that fiscally

dependent large city school districts, such as Yonkers, cannot reduce the local

share of education funding in any fiscal year unless they proportionately

reduce spending across the city budget. The bills are being held for

consideration in the education committee.

DAVID NEEDHAM

DEMOCRAT

BACKGROUND:

Needham, 24, of Farmingdale, also is on the Independence, Working Families

and Education First lines. He is the deputy chief of staff at the Suffolk OTB.

Last year he ran against Legis. Paul Tonna (R-West Hills) for the 17th district

seat in the Suffolk County Legislature. Before that, he was an executive

assistant for Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington).

ISSUES: Needham supports increasing state aid for education, environmental

and health-care programs and for prescription drug plans for senior citizens.

He also supports greater financial oversight of local school districts. He

opposes any expansion of operations at Republic Airport. He supports increased

police patrols by New York State troopers on Long Island so that Nassau and

Suffolk police can spend more time cracking down on gang violence. He supports

paying state legislators for only one of every two days they work without

passing a budget on time.

About the job

Member of the New York State Assembly

Term: 2 years

Salary: Base salary of $79,500; members of the Assembly also receive

stipends ranging from $9,000 to $41,500 for holding committee or party

positions.

Duties: Represents one of 150 districts. Helps shape the state budget and

can introduce and sponsor legislation, resolutions and constitutional

amendments.

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