BioSenator John J. Flanagan represents the Second Senate District, which includes the entire Town of Smithtown and portions of both the Town of Brookhaven and the Town of Huntington. He was first elected to represent this portion of Suffolk County in 2002 and overwhelmingly reelected in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
During his time in the Senate, Senator Flanagan has been a constant leader in the fight to reduce the tax burden Long Islanders face – a fight he began when he served in the New York State Assembly prior to his election to the Senate. During his tenure in the lower house, he served as the ranking member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee where he was able to work to provide taxpayers with meaningful tax relief.
An outspoken critic of late state budgets, Senator Flanagan has consistently argued for budget reforms that will improve New York's financial health while preventing burdensome tax increases.
Senator Flanagan also led the fight for the adoption and implementation of the STAR Rebate Program in 2006, which delivered billions to New York State homeowners before being eliminated in 2009, and continues to fight for the repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax.
To help ease the tax burden of volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers throughout New York State, he authored legislation that grants these first responders an expanded real property tax exemption on their homes.
A staunch supporter of education, Senator Flanagan is currently the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education. He has been a constant voice for Long Island schools with a long history of fighting to make sure that his constituents get their fair share of state aid to reduce class size and to protect property taxpayers.
To enhance the safety in the schools he represents, Senator Flanagan has supported the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (Project SAVE) and worked to permanently extend the Child Safety Zone law which gives otherwise ineligible children access to bus service.
And to expand students ability to succeed, he has also expanded funding for pre-kindergarten programs, made college more affordable by maintaining funding for New York State's tuition assistance program and also has been supportive of the college savings programs that allow for tax-free savings and increased deductions for future college tuition payments.
As a state senator, he has also used his commitment to the disabled community, school organizations and women’s groups to deliver increased state funding and enactment of critical legislation in these areas.
His commitment to these issues was evident in his very first year in the Senate when he worked with local advocates to author landmark protections for stalking victims and their families. In the years that have followed, he has worked to increase public protection by successfully expanding public access to the New York State Sex Offender Registry, requiring lifetime registration for sexual predators and ending the statute of limitations for rapists.
A strong proponent of safety on Long Island waterways, he successfully worked to lower the legal blood alcohol level for boating while intoxicated to .08 and successfully fought to increase the penalties faced by those who operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
And to protect the public’s right to know, Senator Flanagan successfully fought to require the Department of Environmental Conservation to disclose more information concerning toxic spills to the general public on its web site.
Senator Flanagan has worked closely with members of the Kings Park community to successfully halt the sale of the environmentally fragile Kings Park Psychiatric Center in order to protect more than 370 acres of open space, secure $29 million in state funding for the cleanup of the site and transfer this beautiful parcel of open space into the New York State parks system for preservation and public enjoyment.
He has also been instrumental in helping the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook provide services and care to the veterans of Long Island. His support has been vital in enabling the facility to proceed with important capital and technological improvements that will enhance the care received by those who have served our country.
In addition to his role as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Senator Flanagan also serves on the Committees on Codes; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Finance; Higher Education; Insurance; and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
Senator Flanagan was raised in Huntington where he attended Harborfields High School. In 1983, he earned a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and in 1990 he received a law degree from Touro Law School.
Senator Flanagan is proudly following the path of his father, the late John Flanagan, who served in the New York State Assembly from 1972 to 1986.
Senator Flanagan resides in East Northport with his wife, the former Lisa Perez of Maryland. Together, they have raised three children including a daughter who recently graduated from college, a son who is currently attending college and a younger son who is a student in the Northport-East Northport School District.