Jeffrey D. Klein

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This article is about the New York State Senator. For the Mother Jones editor, see Jeffrey Bruce Klein. For the American dermatologist, see Jeffrey A. Klein. For the singer-songwriter, see Jeff Klein.
Jeff Klein
Member of the New York Senate
from the 34th district
Assumed office
Preceded by Guy Velella
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 80th district
In office
Preceded by George Friedman
Succeeded by Naomi Rivera
Personal details
Born (1960-07-10) July 10, 1960 (age 55)
Political party Democratic Party

Jeffrey David Klein (born July 10, 1960) is a New York State Senator representing parts of Bronx and Westchester Counties. He was elected to his first term in the Senate in 2004. Though he is a member of the Democratic Party, he caucuses with the members of the Republican Party in the Senate.


A lifelong resident of the northeast Bronx, he was educated in Bronx public schools. Klein received his undergraduate degree from Queens College, his master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and a J.D. from CUNY's Law School, where he was a member of the law review.

A former chief of staff to Congressman James Scheuer, Klein served as a Democratic State Committeeman and District Leader before being elected to the New York State Assembly in 1994. During his ten years representing the 80th Assembly District in the state legislature, Klein served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and the Elderly, the Committee on State-Federal Relations, and the Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigations.

After former State Senator Guy Velella was convicted on corruption charges, Klein declined to seek reelection to the Assembly in order to run for Velella's seat in the New York Senate. In the Democratic Senate primary, Klein defeated then Assemblyman Stephen B. Kaufman. Prior to running for the Senate, Klein was reported to be considering a race for New York Attorney General in 2006, but did not do so because Andrew Cuomo and Jeanine Pirro were competing for that position. After two years in the Senate, he abandoned plans to run for the Majority Leader position, instead opting for the Deputy Minority Leader spot.

After considering a race for New York Attorney General, Klein opted to run for re-election. In 2010, he was easily re-elected, defeating Republican Frank Vernuccio, a community activist in the Bronx. In January 2011, Klein announced that he would lead a newly formed Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway New York State Senate Democrats formed as a response to the dysfunction of past governing bodies in the New York State Senate.

Following the 2010 census, New York redistricted the Senate, expanding it from 62 to 63 seats effective in January 2013. When all election night results were tabulated on November 6, 2012, it appeared that Democrats would hold 33 seats for a three-seat majority—just their third Senate majority since World War II.

On December 4, 2012, Klein, the IDC, and the G.O.P. announced a power-sharing agreement in order to govern the Senate in a bipartisan coalition. Under the agreement, Senators Skelos and Klein would alternate daily as temporary president of the Senate. Also as part of the change, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith joined the Independent Democrats, but was expelled from the conference in April 2013 due to a scandal in which Smith attempted to bribe the Republican Party chairs for a Wilson Pakula Proclamation to run in the upcoming New York City mayoral election.[1]

Klein was a prime sponsor of the 2013 New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE Act), which enacted new comprehensive gun control measures statewide in the wake of the Newtown Connecticut shooting and in response to violent tragedies involving the use of firearms nationwide.[2]

Prior to the 2013 state budget negotiations, Klein publicly demanded that New York increase its minimum wage as part of a final agreement.[3] Klein's support was seen as critical to the measure's success, which will increase New York's minimum wage to $9 per hour by 2015.[4]

In November 2013, Klein announced his support for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's universal pre-k plan.[5] After the State Senate included full funding for Mayor de Blasio's universal pre-k plan in the senate's one house budget resolution, Mayor de Blasio praised Klein and his coalition partner for making "an unprecedented commitment" to universal pre-k and after-school programs in New York City.[6]

In December 2013, Klein unveiled his 2014 policy agenda, entitled "Affordable New York." The agenda—which calls for the creation of a statewide paid family leave system, a $750 million reinvestment in middle class housing, and an expansion of college affordability programs and prescription drug assistance for seniors—was praised by the President of the New York AFL-CIO for focusing on the needs of working people.[7]

Klein is the primary sponsor of proposed "At Rest" legislation which would require liquor sold in New York State to be stored in warehouses located in New York State. The legislation would drive up the cost of wine and spirits in New York State and significantly benefit large New York State liquor wholesalers such as Empire Merchants, which has donated over $33,000 to Klein's campaign.[8]

Klein is a partner in the law firm of Klein Calderoni & Santucci, LLP.

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External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
George Friedman
New York State Assembly, 80th District
Succeeded by
Naomi Rivera
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Guy Velella
New York State Senate, 34th District
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas W. Libous
Deputy Majority Leader of the New York State Senate
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Libous
Preceded by
Committee dormant
Chairman of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Committee