Charles Lavine, 65, a Democratic incumbent seeking his fifth term, cites the enactment of a property tax cap as a big step toward fiscal responsibility. His effectiveness in Albany, though, is best measured in help he gives to local governments and in the use of his expertise as a criminal defense lawyer on issues such as the recent expansion of the state's DNA database. More crimes now require a DNA sample from the convicted.
Lavine, of Glen Cove, has been deeply involved in the complex negotiations with the Long Island Power Authority to help the North Shore school district absorb the shock to its tax base from closing the Glenwood Landing power plant.
Republican challenger Louis Imbroto, 28, a Plainview attorney in his first run for office, has an impressive command of the issues. He wants more housing built around transit hubs to keep his generation here, and he says the state should spend more to repair and build infrastructure.
Lavine, a longtime champion of ethics reform, should return to the Assembly as an even more vocal supporter of greater independence for the newly created state ethics board.
Newsday endorses Lavine.