Richard L. Brodsky

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Richard L. Brodsky
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 86th, later the 92nd district
In office
1983–2010
Preceded by Vincent A. Marchiselli
Succeeded by Thomas J. Abinanti
Personal details
Born May 4, 1946

Richard L. Brodsky (born May 4, 1946) is an American lawyer and politician from New York.

Biography[edit]

He was born on May 4, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York City. In 1955, the family moved to Westchester County. He attended Ardsley High School. He graduated from Brandeis University and in 1971 from Harvard Law School. He entered politics as a Democrat.[1]

He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 2010, sitting in the 185th, 186th, 187th, 188th, 189th, 190th, 191st, 192nd, 193rd, 194th, 195th, 196th, 197th and 198th New York State Legislatures.

In 2006 Brodsky announced his intentions of running for Attorney General of New York, a campaign that he suspended in order to donate a kidney to his 14 year-old daughter. He didn't wind up donating, but has introduced legislation that would make consent to organ donation presumptive for New York residents.[2] After the resignation of State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, Brodsky was a frontrunner to succeed the scandal-ridden Hevesi. Thomas DiNapoli was selected instead by the Legislature to serve out the rest of Hevesi's term. Brodsky later ran to succeed NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in the 2010 elections, but lost to Eric Schneiderman in the primary.[3]

Richard Brodsky is on the Board of Advisors of the Global Panel Foundation. In 2010, Brodsky became a Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.[4] Additionally, in April 2011, Brodsky joined non-partisan public policy organization Demos as Senior Fellow.[5] He writes regularly for Demos' "Policy Shop" weblog and is a columnist for The Capitol.[6][7]

Oversight of public authorities[edit]

Brodsky sponsored the Public Authorities Reform Act, which was signed into law in December 2009.

As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Brodsky investigated New York’s system of public authorities, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State Thruway Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and the Olympic Regional Development Authority.[8] Brodsky sponsored the Public Authorities Accountability Act of 2005. In May 2011 he gave this [5] interview with Elizabeth Benjamin (journalist) of Your News Now on trimming such autorifdadas.

Nuclear safety[edit]

Brodsky has been concerned with the potential safety hazards of nuclear power plants located at Indian Point Energy Center. He released the Interim Report on the Evacuation Plans for the Indian Point Nuclear Generating Facility in February 2002, highlighting the perceived failures of Entergy and state authorities to develop a feasible evacuation plan in a theoretical core meltdown, terrorist attack, or other catastrophic emergency. Three months later he co-signed a petition to FEMA requesting that it deny continued approval to the Indian Point Evacuation Plans. In January 2010, he filed suit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission "challenging its decision to allow Entergy Inc., which operates the nuclear facilities at Indian Point in Buchanan, New York, to violate fire safety standards."[9] [10]

In May 2011 Brodsky sent a letter to the NRC formally complaining of commissions' violations of the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) law with respect to his FOI request earlier that year. The request had sought a complete listing of all “exemptions” to health and safety rules, including fire safety, at nuclear power plants across America. The “exemptions” in question included issues of fire safety, control of safety systems that are required for safe shutdown in cases where core meltdown is possible, safe evacuation of civilian populations and safe storage of spent fuel.[11]

Environmental preservation[edit]

When Brodsky was Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Conservation (1993-2002), he authored the legislation responsible for creating the Environmental Protection Fund, devoted to environmental protection and preservation in New York State. Brodsky is also partially responsible for authoring the Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act, a $1.75 billion bond act approved by New York state voters in 1996.[12] In 2007, Brodsky passed legislation to phase out the use of pesticides on State property.[13]

Constitutional Convention[edit]

Brodsky sponsored legislation permitting New Yorkers to vote on whether a Constitutional Convention should be held in New York State in 2010. He publicly recommended that those calling for a Convention must realize that they "have an obligation to tell us what the Constitution would look like when they are finished with it."[14]

Tax legislation[edit]

Brodsky was involved in the creation of the New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR), which was enacted into law in 1996. He also co-sponsored legislation to eliminate the state tax on clothing.[15]

Telecommunications and internet reform[edit]

Brodsky has worked to reform New York's telecommunications and energy systems. In 2007 he authored the Omnibus Telecommunications Reform Act that would create a broadband authority, expand universal service, protect the traditional telephone system, create cable competition and protect net neutrality. He led an effort to make the Internet safer, authoring several Internet security bills, including the anti-phishing act of 2006, the computer breaking and entering act, a bill to notify consumers of the limitations of 911 emergency services using Internet phones and the country's first-of-its-kind act to combat modem hijacking.[16]

Most recently, Brodsky co-authored a Demos paper in opposition to NJ Senate Bill 2664, or the "Market Competition and Consumer Choice Act," entitled "How To Raise The Phone Bill On The Average New Jersey Family."[17]

Metropolitan Transportation Authority[edit]

As Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Brodsky has been involved in the 2009/2010 financial issues facing the MTA. He held hearings to investigate the authority as well as seeking to retain funding for New York City student metro cards.[18] As Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Brodsky sought greater oversight and funding for the authority.[19]

Opposing congestion pricing[edit]

In July 2007 Brodsky became a leading opponent of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg congestion pricing proposal. Brodsky issued a negative report about the proposal. According to the New York State Board of Elections, Brodsky received more campaign contributions from New York City's parking garage industry than any other state legislator. The proposal, which would have substantially reduced New York City motor vehicle traffic congestion and provided funding to mass transit, failed.

Awards[edit]

Honorary degrees from Mercy College in Westchester and Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks.

The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs Distinguished Public Service Award, the Congress of Italian-American Organizations Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the United Federation of Teachers Friend of Education Award, the Westchester Distinguished Service Medal, the International Association of Firefighters Achievement Award, the New York State Audubon Society William B. Hoyt Environmental Award, and the Adirondack Council Conservationist of the Year Award.

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Red Book (1991–1992; pg. 246)
  2. ^ http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/05/after_watching_his_daughter_wa.html
  3. ^ Assemblyman Drops Out Of Attorney General Race
  4. ^ Richard Brodsky, Senior Fellow at NYU - LoHud Blog
  5. ^ Brodsky Lands at Demos - Capital Confidential Blog
  6. ^ http://www.policyshop.net/
  7. ^ http://nycapitolnews.com/author/rbrodsky/
  8. ^ New York Times coverage of New York State public authorities
  9. ^ New York Times coverage of Indian Point
  10. ^ New York State Assembly website
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Brenner, Elsa (20 October 1996). "Environmental Bill: The Pros and Cons". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ Legislation re 2010 NYS Constitutional Convention
  15. ^ Albany Times-Union report on STAR legislation
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ Brodsky, Richard. "How To Raise The Phone Bill On The Average New Jersey Family". Report. Demos. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  18. ^ Testimony by MTA Head Jay Walder before Brodsky's Committee
  19. ^ [4]

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Vincent A. Marchiselli
New York State Assembly
86th District

1983–2002
Succeeded by
Luis Diaz
Preceded by
Alexander J. Gromack
New York State Assembly
92nd District

2003–2010
Succeeded by
Thomas J. Abinanti