Republican Phil Boyle, 55, of Bay Shore, has been an effective and hardworking legislator in his two terms in the State Senate. He is an active presence in his district and has earned his credentials as an environmental advocate and fiscal conservative. There seems to be little argument to turn him out.
But the Democrats aren’t even trying. Once again his opponent is Suffolk County Board of Elections worker John Alberts, 32, of North Babylon, and once again Alberts is not actively campaigning.
Boyle has good ideas on ethics reform, including limiting legislators to three four-year terms, restricting the ability of outside groups to pour money into campaigns, and coupling an increase in salaries for lawmakers with capping outside income at 15 percent of legislative pay. We encourage him to push his party on those positions.
We disagree with his preference for a flat 2 percent tax cap instead of the current one pegged to inflation, which could be lower, but we agree arbitration awards for public unions should be subject to the cap. Boyle says a minimum wage hike to $12 an hour would have been better than the approved increase to $15, reflecting concerns of constituents he represents as chairman of the small-business committee, but not those of the many working-class families in his district.
Boyle is a proponent of transit-oriented housing, and he says more such development is needed to bring rents down and bend the cost of living on Long Island. He’s right.
Boyle supports a proposed Suffolk County public referendum to institute a water-usage fee to reduce nitrogen in Long Island’s waters, provided it’s a dedicated fund, but he knows some of his GOP colleagues are not on board; we expect him to be a leader in turning that tide.
Newsday endorses Boyle.