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Michael Balboni, a Republican, is running for re-election to the New York State 7th Senate District.

Michael Balboni

In an interview with Anton Newspapers, Balboni said that he is proud of the fact that he was recently named one of only 40 members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council on a national level. The members advise the secretary of Homeland Security directly on policy as it relates to government and the private sector.

Further, he said he has been very active on the National Conference of State Legislators and is the co-chairman of their committee on Homeland Security. Balboni added, "These positions give me a birds-eye view on a federal, state and local level so that I am better able to serve as the head of Homeland Security for New York State."

In describing his accomplishments during the past year, Balboni said, "There is great economic news this year. It is the second year in a row that the state budget was on time and with the largest surplus in state history amounting to $4.2 billion. It is the largest year-to-year increase in education aid and one of the largest tax cuts we have ever made. If you add up the tax cuts it amounts to all the sales tax being eliminated for clothing under $110; gasoline excise tax eliminated for gas over $3. Plus every taxpayer received a STAR rebate check, which was cash in the mail. And, a child education tax credit, in the amount of $330, for people with school-age children. This credit is eligible for those making under $200,000 a year."

He continued, "If you look at an area, for instance Herricks, and you add up all these reductions they come to close to $1,000 in tax benefits and that's in real money. It's not going to relieve the burden of real property taxes that would make life easier, but what it does is set the table for a real discussion for local government to say, 'we can do more with less.'"

According to Balboni, "We have increased the DNA database to help prosecute more criminals and protect victims; expanded Megan's Law to include lifetime registration for the most dangerous sex offenders and eliminated the statute of limitations for rape victims to give victims more time to come forward and seek legal recourse."

In the area of Homeland Security, in which he is so active, Balboni said, "I was able to deliver $5 million to improve emergency shelters on Long Island; secure $25 million for a new Homeland Security Center on Long Island that will not only protect us but is expected to create local jobs; secured $2 million for the North Shore University Health Systems for their Women's Center of Excellence and sponsored a law to provide $10 million to secure funds to combat terrorism at the Port of New York."

Further, Balboni said he has been fighting Medicaid fraud to save money and to that end he sponsored a new law to reduce Medicaid abuses and save taxpayers money, while continuing to provide health care service for those in need.

Balboni was elected to the Senate in 1997 and before that served eight years in the state Assembly. A lifelong resident of Long Island, he graduated with honors from Adelphi University and earned his Juris Doctor from St. John's University School of Law. Upon his admission to the bar in 1985 he began his career in public service as counsel to former Senator John R. Dunne. He was then named counsel to the New York State Senate Judiciary Committee and counsel to the deputy majority leader of the Senate. In 1987 he was appointed deputy county attorney in Nassau County, where he served until his election to the state Assembly.

Balboni lives in East Williston with his wife Stephanie and their children Oliva, Nicholas, Julia and Michaela.

Election Day is Nov. 7 and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Joseph Hand has announced that he is running for election on the Democratic ticket for the New York State 7th Senate District.

Joseph Hand

Hand, a resident of Williston Park, explained in an interview with Anton Newspapers that he is running because he is tired of seeing everything in Albany fixed with a "Band Aid" approach.

He elaborated on the statement by saying, "I haven't really seen a lot of change in the state. For instance, everyone received a check to add to their STAR discount based on school taxes. Naturally, I'm not going to give my check back, but rather than a "Band Aid" check I would like to see a halt to the outrageous property taxes. When I was a kid, 70 percent of school taxes were funded by the state and now only 17 to 18 percent of school taxes are funded by the state. Why not use that rebate money to fix the problem?

"Another example is civil confinement. Instead of enacting that kind of a law for a pedophile, why not go back to the crux of the problem and change the law to make sure these people stay in jail a longer amount of time and by the time they are released they won't need civil confinement. Instead, the proposal is to put them in a civil confinement situation for the rest of their lives and that I feel it is putting a band aid on the problem."

He also addressed the question of term limits. Hand said, "If you can't do what you wanted to do in 10 years it's time to step aside and give someone else a chance. The challenger really doesn't have much of a chance against a long-term incumbent and I think 10 years is long enough."

Hand further said that he would like to see every high school graduate in New York State be afforded, if they so choose, a public college education.

He also feels that he could return fiscal responsibility to Albany. Hand also said he would like to see the state invest in alternative fuels to stop the pain at the pump and he would like to devise a way to protect all New York State residents from identity theft and fraud and to protect children from Internet predators.

Hand has a master's degree in government and politics, a certificate in public administration, a certificate in international law and diplomacy all from St. John's University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stonybrook University.

He has served more than 20 years in public administration working on all levels of government including federal, state, county, town and village. He was a court evaluator appointed by the New York State Supreme Court to Protect the Rights and Interests of Allegedly Incapacitated Persons. He was the deputy receiver of taxes for the Town of North Hempstead for a few years working with the late Ann Galante, a New York State Assembly legislative aide and he was also with the New York City Human Resources Administration.

Currently, Hand is associated with the Nassau County Board of Elections. He and his wife have three children all attending the Herricks School system.

Election Day is Nov. 7 and the polls will be open from 6 to 9 p.m.


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