STATE RACES
ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 51
ABOUT EYE ON ALBANY

Sunset Park, Red Hook, Wyckoff, Gowanus, Windsor Terrace, South of Park Slope, Borough Park, Boerum Hill.

GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS
Take a look at all the latest results for the November 5, 2002 general election.

x-Felix W. Ortiz (Dem) 6,344 - 81 percent
Washington G. Artus (Rep) 1,472 - 19 percent

Candidates:

  • Washington George Artus (Rep/Con)
  • Felix W. Ortiz (Dem) Incumbent


BIOGRAPHIES

Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (Dem) was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1994. In 1998, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Ortiz to serve as a member of the National Conference of State Legislators' (NCSL) Committee on Human Services. He later was appointed by the Silver to serve as the chair of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy. Ortiz also sits on the following committees: Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Correction; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; Energy; Labor; and Banks.

Washington George Artus (Rep/Con) is a retired employee of the Mass Transit Authority. In 2000 Artus ran for State Senator in the 25th District.

7 BILLS IMPORTANT TO NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS THAT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE IS LIKELY TO VOTE ON IN THE NEXT TERM:

1. Rent Regulation: The current rent regulation laws expire in June 2003. Supporters of rent regulation hope that the current provisions will be extended for another five years and that the legislature will repeal the provision which deregulates apartments that rent for $2,000 or more a month. The State Assembly passed such a bill this year, but it died in the Senate in the face of opposition from Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. If the Legislature does not take concerted action in June, rent regulation in New York City will end.

In 2002 Assemblymember Ortiz voted in favor of repealing vacancy decontrol, the law that permits landlords to increase rent 18 percent automatically whenever a tenant moves out.

2. Commuter Tax: In 1999, when the State Legislature repealed the Commuter Tax, the city's economy was good. Reinstatement of the Commuter Tax is likely to come up again this Spring as the City's economy takes a turn for the worse.

In 1999 Assemblymember Ortiz voted against the repeal of the commuter tax .

3. School Funding: Even with mayoral control of the school system, more than 40 percent of New York City's school funding comes from Albany. Next year's budget will determine how much money New York City's schools will get from the state.

4. Rockefeller drug laws: New York's drug laws, passed in 1973 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, are among the harshest in the nation. The Democratic-controlled Assembly, Republican-controlled Senate, and the Governor have not been able to agree on how to reform these laws, look for renewed negotiations and new legislation in the next term.

5. Minimum Wage: Currently set at $5.15 an hour, Democrats will likely propose raising the minimum wage to $6.75 an hour, a proposal that passed the Assembly, but failed to ever get to the floor of the Senate last year.

Raising Minimum Wage - vote on A5132
In 2002 Assemblymember Ortiz voted in favor of raising the minimum wage.

6. Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act: This has been floating around the New York State Legislature for 30 years, with the Governor's support, it is likely to come up for a vote again next Spring.

7. Campaign Finance Reform: Some 80 organizations have proposed a "Clean Money, Clean Elections" bill for the New York State Legislature. Like the New York City law, it would establish a system under which candidates who comply with limits on campaign spending and contributions Last year, Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced a bill to provide two-to-one public matching of campaign contributions. The bill passed the Assembly, but it died in the Senate in the face of opposition from Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

In 2002 Assemblymember Ortiz voted in favor of two-to-one public matching of campaign contributions.


HOW SOME ORGANIZATIONS RANKED ASSEMBLYMEMBER FELIX W. ORTIZ:

EMPIRE STATE PRIDE AGENDA

Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act adds actual or perceived sexual orientation to the state's existing laws which prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability or marital status.

Pride Agenda's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

Hate Crimes Act

The Hate Crimes Act enhances criminal penalties for a long list of crimes in which perpetrators intentionally select a target based on the victim's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation. The Hate Crimes Act also requires the state to collect, analyze and annually report on data regarding hate crimes throughout the state.

Pride Agenda's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: NO VOTE

THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF NEW YORK STATE

Comparable Worth Bill

This bill enacts the "New York State Fair Pay Act" which declares it unlawful to discriminate between employees of different sexes for work that is of comparable worth.

BC of NYS Position: OPPOSITION
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

Act to Increase State Minimum Wage

This act amends the labor law, raising state minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 an hour as of January 1, 2003.

BC of NYS Position: OPPOSITION
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

NEW YORK STATE AFL-CIO

Act to Amend the Retirement and Social Security Law regarding Age of Retirees

This act decreases the age at which public retirees may re-enter public employment without losing any of their benefits from 70 to 65.

AFL-CIO's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

Act to Amend the Labor Law regarding Employer Responsibilities

This act stipulates that the failure to post a statement of wage rates and supplements at any job site shall be regarded as a misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty. It requires maintenance of "sign-in" and "sign-out" sheets upon the request of the fiscal officer.

AFL-CIO's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

FAMILY PLANNING ADVOCATES OF NEW YORK STATE

Emergency Contraception for Rape Survivors Act

This act requires hospitals to provide information on emergency contraception and, upon request of a rape survivor, to distribute emergency contraception to rape survivors during emergency treatment.

Family Planning Association of New York's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

Contraceptive Coverage Equality Act

This act requires health and accident insurance policies that provide coverage for prescription drugs to cover the costs of contraceptives prescribed by a healthcare provider authorized to prescribe drugs according to the education laws.

Family Planning Association of New York's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

Immigrant Healthcare Act

This measure allows aliens to receive medical assistance with less difficulty and calls for state reimbursement of certain medical assistance and family health plus costs incurred on behalf of certain aliens.

Family Planning Association of New York's Position: SUPPORT
Felix W. Ortiz's Position: SUPPORT

August 7, 2002

Three states have barred teachers and other school staffers from recommending that a student be put on Ritalin or any other psychoactive drug - and New York may be joining them. State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) - concerned about the growing use of Ritalin to control hyperactive, disruptive and distracted students at the behest of educators - proposed such a bill last year and hopes to get it passed in the next legislative session. (New York Post)

Eye On Albany 2002 is a guide to the races for the 91 seats of the New York State Legislature that represent residents of New York City.

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