John Bonacic

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John J. Bonacic
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 42nd district
Assumed office
January 1, 2003
Preceded by Neil Breslin
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 40th district
In office
January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by Charles D. Cook
Succeeded by Vincent Leibell
Member of the New York State Assembly from the 95th district
In office
January 1, 1993 – December 31, 1998
Preceded by Nancy Calhoun
Succeeded by Howard Mills III
Member of the New York State Assembly from the 94th district
In office
February 20, 1990 – December 31, 1992
Preceded by Mary M. McPhillips
Succeeded by Nancy Calhoun
Personal details
Born (1942-06-14) June 14, 1942 (age 76)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Pat Bonacic
Residence Mount Hope, New York
Alma mater Iona College (B.A.)
Fordham University (J.D.)
Website Official website

John J. Bonacic (born June 14, 1942 in New York City) is the Republican New York State Senator from the 42nd District (which includes all or parts of Delaware, Sullivan, Orange, and Ulster Counties). Bonacic was first elected in November 1998.

Personal life and education[edit]

Bonacic is of Croatian ancestry;[2] his grandparents were immigrants from Croatia.[3] He received his Bachelor of Arts from Iona College in 1964, majoring in Economics. He received his JD at Fordham University School of Law in 1968.

Political career[edit]

On February 20, 1990, Bonacic was elected to the New York State Assembly, to fill the vacancy caused by the election of Mary M. McPhillips as Orange County Executive.[4] Bonacic was re-elected four times and remained in the Assembly until 1998, sitting in the 188th, 189th, 190th, 191st and 192nd New York State Legislatures. In November 1998, he was elected to the New York State Senate, and has—as of October 2017—been re-elected every two years since.

As of 2016, Bonacic served as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, and was a member of several other Senate committees, including: Judiciary; Banks; and Housing, Construction & Community Development.[5]

Bonacic voted against same-sex marriage legislation on December 2, 2009; the bill was defeated.[6] He also voted against the state's 2011 Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33-29.[7]

Bonacic was the lead sponsor of the 2013 constitutional amendment that allowed for up to seven casinos to be licensed on non-Indian land in upstate New York.[8] Bonacic was also the lead sponsor of the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act of 2013.[9] He has also sponsored a bill that would legalize online poker.[10] Bonacic supported the opening of a casino in Sullivan County, New York.[11]

Bonacic supports the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, and has introduced legislation that would do so.[12]

While Bonacic cast a procedural vote against a 2013 bill that would have expanded abortion rights,[13] he expressed support for the Reproductive Health Act in 2016. At a January 25, 2016 gathering of abortion advocates in Albany, the Senator commented, "'Both my daughter and my bride of 50 years believe in pro-choice and we should never deprive women of access of health care that they choose and their medical providers say is best for them.'"[14]

On May 6, 2018, Bonacic announced that he would not seek re-election in November 2018.[15]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Blain, Glenn. "NY abortion bill finally gets support from a GOP senator". NY Daily News. Retrieved 18 March 2017. I come from a Catholic family, I don't believe in abortions but that's a family choice, 
  2. ^ Archived 2012-10-30 at the Wayback Machine. Ratko Martinović: Loš PR u dijaspori - Koje su svjetski poznate osobe podrijetlom Hrvati, a da to niste ni znali, 28. listopada 2012. (Croatian)
  3. ^ "Statement by Senator John Bonacic". Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ 3 Assembly Victors Favor Death Penalty in the New York Times on February 21, 1990
  5. ^ "About John J. Bonacic". Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  6. ^ Vote against same-sex marriage by Bonacic. Archived 2015-02-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^
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  15. ^ Reynolds, Hugh. "A farewell to John Bonacic". Hudson Valley One. Ulster Publishing. Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Mary M. McPhillips
New York State Assembly
94th District

Succeeded by
Nancy Calhoun
Preceded by
Nancy Calhoun
New York State Assembly
95th District

Succeeded by
Howard Mills III
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Charles D. Cook
New York State Senate
40th District

Succeeded by
Vincent Leibell
Preceded by
Neil Breslin
New York State Senate
42nd District

Preceded by
John L. Sampson
New York State Senate
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee

Preceded by
Eric Adams
New York State Senate
Chairman of the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering