JAMES D. CONTE
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.
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
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
Duties: Represents one of 150 districts. Helps shape the state budget and
can introduce and sponsor legislation, resolutions and constitutional