John J. Flanagan

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John Flanagan
Flanagan in 2020
Minority Leader of the New York State Senate
In office
January 2, 2019 – June 28, 2020
Preceded byAndrea Stewart-Cousins
Succeeded byRob Ortt
Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate
In office
May 11, 2015 – January 2, 2019
DeputyTom Libous
John DeFrancisco
GovernorAndrew Cuomo
Preceded byDean Skelos
Succeeded byAndrea Stewart-Cousins
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 2nd district
In office
January 1, 2003 – June 28, 2020
Preceded byJames J. Lack
Succeeded byMario Mattera
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 9th district
In office
January 1, 1987 – December 31, 2002
Preceded byJohn Flanagan
Succeeded byAndrew Raia
Personal details
Born (1961-05-07) May 7, 1961 (age 62)
West Islip, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseLisa Perez
EducationCollege of William and Mary (BA)
Touro Law Center (JD)
WebsiteState Senate website

John J. Flanagan (born May 7, 1961) is an American politician from Long Island, New York. A Republican, Flanagan represented New York's 2nd State Senate district from 2003 to 2020. He also served as senate majority leader from 2015 to 2019, and as senate minority leader from 2019 to 2020. Prior to his senate tenure, Flanagan served in the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 2002.

Early life and education[edit]

Flanagan was raised in Huntington, New York and attended Harborfields High School. He graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1983 with a B.A. in economics. Flanagan received a J.D. degree from Touro Law Center in 1990 and was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1991.[1]

Political career[edit]

Flanagan was elected to the New York State Assembly at age 25 in 1986 following the sudden death of his father, John J. Flanagan, Sr.; Flanagan ran for the assembly seat that was vacated due to his father's death.[2] In 2002, Flanagan sought the assembly minority leader post, and was defeated 27-26 by fellow Republican Charles H. Nesbitt.[2] Flanagan was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1987 until 2002, when he was elected to the State Senate.[3][4]

Before becoming temporary president and majority leader of the New York state senate, Flanagan served as the chairman of the senate standing committee on education and as a member of the committees on codes; corporations, authorities and commissions; finance; higher education; insurance; judiciary; rules and veterans, homeland security and military affairs.[citation needed] In 2011, Flanagan voted against allowing same-sex marriage in New York during the Senate roll-call vote on the Marriage Equality Act, which legally recognized same-sex marriages performed in the state; the bill passed in a closely divided Senate vote of 33–29 and was signed into law.[5][better source needed] In 2013, he voted in favor of the firearm law known as the NY SAFE Act,[6][better source needed] but he later expressed willingness to reconsider or modify that legislation.[citation needed]

As chair of the New York Senate Education Committee, Flanagan held hearings across the state to examine several major issues including state assessments, the implementation of common core state standards and the protection of student privacy. The hearing series was called "The Regents Reform Agenda: 'Assessing' Our Progress" and was held on Long Island and in New York City, Syracuse, Buffalo and Albany.[7][better source needed]

On May 11, 2015, Flanagan was elected senate majority leader and Temporary President of the New York State Senate following Dean Skelos's resignation from the post.[8] As senate majority leader, Flanagan pushed back on efforts to extend the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse in New York state. He did not allow the Child Victims Act,[9] a bill that had already passed the New York Assembly,[10] to come up for a vote in the senate in the 2017 spring session.[11]

Flanagan also opposed the Reproductive Health Act, an abortion rights bill supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Democrats that Senate Republicans blocked from a senate floor vote in 2018;[12][13] Flanagan described the bill as a "radical expansion of abortion" that would allow certain non-physicians to perform abortion procedures.[14]

In 2018, EPL/Environmental Advocates gave Flanagan an Oil Slick Award in their annual Environmental Scorecard.[15]

In November 2018, fellow Republican Catharine Young attempted to oust Flanagan from his leadership post; however, Flanagan defeated her by a vote of 14 to nine.[16] In January 2020, Flanagan announced that he would be unavailable for the beginning of the 2019 session because he was seeking treatment for alcoholism in a residential program.[17]

After announcing in March 2020 that he would not seek re-election, Flanagan announced his resignation from the Senate (effective June 28, 2020) to become a lobbyist for Northwell Health, a network of hospitals in the New York City metropolitan area.[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

Flanagan married Lisa Perez, and the couple had three children.[1] Spectrum News reported in August 2017 that Flanagan and his wife had divorced.[20]

In August 2017, Flanagan publicly stated that he had recently completed an alcohol treatment program.[21][22][23] In 2019, Flanagan revealed that he was undergoing inpatient treatment for alcoholism.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Biography from official John J. Flanagan website". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Velasquez, Josefa (22 April 2015). "Flanagan takes prominent spot on Senate Republican bench". Politico PRO.
  3. ^ Roy, Yancey (March 30, 2020). "GOP selects Mattera to run for Flanagan's Senate seat".
  4. ^ Harris, Cayla; Fries, Amanda (March 25, 2020). "State Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan won't seek re-election". Times Union.
  5. ^ "NY State Assembly Bill A8354". June 24, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "NY State Senate Bill S2230". January 14, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Regents Reform Agenda: "Assessing" Our Progress". October 1, 2013. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  8. ^ Spector, Joseph (May 12, 2015). "Amid scrutiny, Flanagan vows NY is 'one state'". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "NY State Senate Bill S809". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "Assembly Approves Child Victims Act". June 7, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  11. ^ "NY Senate Leader: Child Victims Act Won't Get a Vote". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. June 20, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Segers, Grace (May 31, 2018). "How the state Senate broke down this week, explained". City & State. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "Flanagan Rips Cuomo's RHA Support". July 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Harding, Robert (July 22, 2018). "Eye on NY: How CNY state Senate race could decide fate of abortion rights bill". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Klepper, David (August 13, 2018). "Flanagan tops list of state's eco-foes". Times Union.
  16. ^ Lombardo, David (November 16, 2018). "John Flanagan will continue to helm GOP Senate conference". Times Union.
  17. ^ a b Roy, Yancey. "Flanagan enters alcohol rehab again, will miss start of legislative session". Newsday. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  18. ^ Amanda Fries (2020-06-16). "Senate Minority Leader announces departure for Northwell Health post". Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  19. ^ "Ortt unanimously reelected as Senate minority leader". Capitol Confidential. December 15, 2020.
  20. ^ "State Senate Majority Leader reveals he went to rehab for alcoholism".
  21. ^ Roy, Yancey (August 6, 2017). "NY Sen. Flanagan says he's completed alcohol rehab 'for his family'". Newsday. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  22. ^ McKinley, Jesse (August 6, 2017). "State Senate Leader John Flanagan Sought Help for Alcohol Problem". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  23. ^ Fink, Zack (August 6, 2017). "State Senate Majority Leader reveals he went to rehab for alcoholism". NY1. Retrieved September 20, 2019.

External links[edit]

New York State Assembly
New constituency Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 9th district

Succeeded by
New York State Senate
Preceded by Member of the New York State Senate
from the 2nd district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minority Leader of the New York Senate
Succeeded by