Steve Katz (politician)
|Stephen M. Katz|
|Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 94th district
January 3, 2011 – December 31, 2016
|Preceded by||Greg Ball|
|Succeeded by||Kevin Byrne|
August 11, 1953 |
Jericho, New York
|Residence||Mohegan Lake, New York|
|Alma mater||Cornell University
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Stephen M. Katz (born August 11, 1953) is an American veterinarian, business owner and politician from Mohegan Lake, New York. He formerly served as a member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 94th Assembly District, including parts of Westchester and Putnam counties. Described by the Putnam Examiner as "bombastic" and known "for his fiery rhetoric," he announced his retirement from the state legislature in January 2016.
Katz was born and grew up in Jericho, a hamlet in Nassau County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. In 1972, Katz was involved in an incident at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. which received wide media coverage after he rescued a man who was nearly strangled to death by a 23 foot long reticulated python which had escaped from its cage.
Katz earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1984 from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from Cornell University in 1976. During his studies, he served as a field researcher for the World Wildlife Fund in French Guiana and Galapagos. Katz then was the assistant director of the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve in Israel, and also lived in Italy for two years where he learned to speak fluent Italian.
Since 1989, Katz has been a veterinarian in private practice, while maintaining a residence in the Mohegan Lake hamlet of Yorktown, New York with his wife and three of their four daughters. A business owner, Katz is the owner and founder of the Bronx Veterinary Center, a million dollar veterinary hospital in the Bronx in New York City. In 1995, he and his wife opened the Concourse Animal Hospital on the Grand Concourse, also in the Bronx. He is also an occasional triathlon participant.
A political newcomer, Katz was elected assemblyman for the 99th Assembly District on November 2, 2010 as a candidate of the Republican, and Independence parties, in an open race to replace Assemblyman Greg Ball who was elected to the New York State Senate. The businessman and veterinarian self-funded his campaign at a cost of almost $200,000. He ran with strong backing from the Tea Party movement. He defeated a Democratic challenger, as well as a challenger on the Conservative Party of New York line whom he had previously bested in the Republican primary in September 2010.
Katz staked out conservative positions on cutting taxes and spending, a balanced budget, and anti illegal immigration issues, including calling for English to be made the official language of the state of New York. Yet he also attempted to establish pro-conservation bona fides by backing a moratorium on the controversial proposed hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale region of New York, a process also known as "hydro-fracking."
As one of his first official acts as an assemblyman, Katz offered to provide free veterinary care for the police dogs of the K-9 unit in his home town of Yorktown, as the town was facing a budget crisis. In addition to Yorktown, the 99th Assembly District Katz represents in the New York State Assembly includes the towns of Somers and North Salem in Westchester, the towns of Carmel, Patterson, Southeast and the village of Brewster in Putnam County, and the town of Pawling and village of Pawling in Dutchess County.
As a member of both the Assembly's Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee and Higher Education Committee, in 2012 Katz voted against a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana. A year later, and 11 weeks after being ticketed for the illegal possession of marijuana (see below), he reversed positions and voted in favor of another bill to legalize medical marijuana in New York state. Katz explained his earlier vote as the result of a "divergence between the will of his district and his core beliefs."
On March 14, 2013, Katz was stopped by a state trooper on the New York State Thruway for speeding and was charged with possession of marijuana. On April 25, 2013, as part of a plea deal, Katz was required to pay a $75 fine and to perform 20 hours of community service.
- "Legislative Preview: Meet The New Members". The Capitol. Manhattan Media. January 6, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
- Propper, David (December 28, 2016). "Putnam County's 2016 Year in Review". Putnam Examiner. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Reynolds, William Joseph. "Katz Sworn in as 99th District's New Assemblyman." Yorktown Patch. January 2, 2011.
- Haley, T.J. "Snake-Wrestling Tea Partier Runs for Assembly." Putnam County Courier. September 2, 2010.
- Vitelli, Andrew. "Ball, Katz Pledge for Self-Imposed Term Limits." Putnam Examiner. August 23, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz, Tully tout their independence in Assembly race." The Journal News. October 10, 2010.
- Reynolds, William Joseph. "Dr. Steven Katz is Running for NYS Assembly." Yorktown Patch. July 16, 2010.
- "Bronx Veterinary center, Our Staff." Retrieved January 2, 2011.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz secures signatures to force GOP primary, secure Independence line." The Journal News. July 16, 2010.
- Cusano, Art. "Katz lays out reform platform in Yorktown." The North County News. July 27, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz, Borkowski trade jabs at GOP forum in Putnam." The Journal News. August 26, 2010.
- Panny, Carli-Rae. "‘Everyday Man’ Katz Currently in Lead." Putnam County Courier. September 16, 2010.
- Pesheva, Plamena. "Katz: "New York State on Life Support and Dying" Because of Taxes." Yorktown Patch. August 13, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Yorktown and Cortlandt region: Ball backs Katz in 99th AD as Borkowski ad hits English-only 'hypocrisy'." The Journal News. September 8, 2010.
- Cusano, Art. "Primary Candidates trade barbs in last major debate before primary." The North County News. September 9, 2010.
- Pesheva, Plamena. "Katz Announces Victory in 99th A.D. Primary Election." Yorktown Patch. September 24, 2010.
- Brian J. Howard (January 13, 2011). "Yorktown's Katz ready to bring the Tea Party to Albany". Journal News. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- Howard, Brian. "Assembly: Steve Katz, Tea Party candidate, ahead by wide margin." The Journal News. November 2, 2010.
- Gallagher, Sean. "Katz and Tully Debate Fiscal Reform and Taxes." Yorktown Patch. October 20, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz enjoys big cash advantage in 99th Assembly race." The Journal News. October 29, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Steve Katz, Tea Party candidate, leads Jim Borkowski in 99th AD GOP primary." The Journal News. September 15, 2010.
- Cornell, Scott. "Katz looks to get NY back to work." The North County News. October 6, 2010.
- Pesheva, Plamena. "Katz Calls for Freezing Property Taxes for Senior Citizens." Yorktown Patch. October 23, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz hammers Borkowski over 2009 Working Families line." The Journal News. September 13, 2010.
- Gross, Eric. "Katz Wins 99th Assembly District Seat." Putnam County Courier. November 4, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "With one district left to count, Katz widens lead over Borkowski in 99th AD." The Journal News. September 17, 2010.
- Pesheva, Plamena. "Katz Announces Fiscal Emergency, Wants to Restore Fiscal Responsibility Through 9-Point Plan." Yorktown Patch. August 5, 2010.
- Moser, Anna Lillian. "Two Yorktown Conservatives Eye 99th District Assembly Seat." Putnam Examiner. March 8, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "GOP Assembly candidates call for English as state language." The Journal News. September 8, 2010.
- "State Assemblyman Katz sworn in." YNN Hudson Valley. January 2, 2011.
- Auchterlonie, Tom. "Castelli, Regional Politicians Come Out Against Hydrofracking in Its Current State." Yorktown Patch. October 14, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz declares fiscal emergency, lays out 9-point plan for Albany." The Journal News. August 5, 2010.
- Cornell, Scott. "Katz offers to care for dogs in K-9 unit." The North County News. November 24, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz saves dogs – Councilman credits offer with helping save K9 unit." The Journal News. November 17, 2010.
- Howard, Brian. "Katz, Ball ride Tea Party wave to victory in legislative races." The Journal News. November 4, 2010.
- Seller, Casey (March 15, 2013). "Legislator charged with pot possession". (Albany) Times-Union.
- "Steve Katz Arrested: New York State Assemblyman Charged With Marijuana Possession". Huffington Post. March 15, 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Nahmias, Laura (March 15, 2013). "Assemblyman Steve Katz Ticketed for Marijuana Possession". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Campbell, Jon (June 3, 2013). "Assemblyman Steve Katz reverses medicinal marijuana position". Journal News. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Campbell, Jon (April 25, 2013). "Assemblyman Steve Katz gets plea deal in marijuana charge". Journal News. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "New York State Assemblyman’s Marijuana Charge Dismissed". CBS News New Your. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
|New York Assembly|
|New York State Assembly, 99th District
Kevin M. Byrne