John J. Flanagan

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John Flanagan
Minority Leader of the New York Senate
Assumed office
January 2, 2019
Preceded by Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York Senate
In office
May 11, 2015 – January 2, 2019
Deputy Tom Libous
John DeFrancisco
Preceded by Dean Skelos
Succeeded by Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Member of the New York Senate
from the 2nd district
Assumed office
January 1, 2003
Preceded by James J. Lack
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 9th district
In office
January 1, 1987 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by John Flanagan
Succeeded by Andrew Raia
Personal details
Born (1961-05-07) May 7, 1961 (age 58)
West Islip, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lisa Perez
Children 3
Education College of William and Mary (BA)
Touro Law Center (JD)
Website State Senate website

John J. Flanagan (born May 7, 1961) is the current Minority Leader of the New York State Senate. A Republican, Flanagan represents the 2nd District of the New York State Senate, which includes the entire town of Smithtown and portions of both the towns of Brookhaven and Huntington in Suffolk County, New York. He has served in the Senate since 2003, and was Majority Leader from 2015 to 2018.

Life and early career

Flanagan was raised in Huntington, New York and attended Harborfields High School. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1983 with a B.A. in economics. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 2002, sitting in the 187th, 188th, 189th, 190th, 191st, 192nd, 193rd and 194th New York State Legislatures. He received a law degree from Touro Law School in 1990 and was admitted to practice law in New York State in 1991.

Flanagan and his wife, Lisa Perez, have three children and reside in East Northport, New York.[1] In August 2017, Flanagan publicly stated that he had recently completed an alcohol treatment program.[2][3][4]

Political career

Flanagan was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1986 following the death of his father, John J. Flanagan, Sr., and served in the Assembly until his 2002 election to the Senate. 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.[5][6]

In 2012, Flanagan and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee announced the "Breast Density Information" law they jointly sponsored to help improve early detection of breast cancer by informing women of their breast density and encouraging them to discuss with their physicians the potential benefits of additional screening tests.[7]

Flanagan has sponsored legislation that would ban the sale of salvia divinorum in New York State.[8] The bill is awaiting passage in the New York State Assembly.[9] He also has reintroduced his legislation that would ban the elements in synthetic marijuana.[10][11]

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. In 2013, he voted in favor of the NY Safe Act,[12] but since then has indicated willingness to reconsider or modify such legislation. In 2011 Flanagan voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which legally recognized same-sex marriages performed in the state, in a closely divided Senate vote of 33-29.[13]

As the 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 in Long Island, Syracuse, Buffalo, New York City and Albany.[14]

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,[15] a bill that had already passed the New York Assembly,[16] to come up for a vote in the Senate in the 2017 spring session.[17]

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;[18][19] Flanagan described the bill as a "radical expansion of abortion" that would allow certain non-physicians to perform abortion procedures.[20]

In 2018, EPL/Environmental Advocates gave Flanagan an Oil Slick Award in their annual Environmental Scorecard.[21]


  1. ^ "Biography from official John J. Flanagan website". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Roy, Yancey (August 6, 2017). "NY Sen. Flanagan says he's completed alcohol rehab 'for his family'". Newsday. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  3. ^ McKinley, Jesse (August 6, 2017). "State Senate Leader John Flanagan Sought Help for Alcohol Problem". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Fink, Zack (August 6, 2017). "State Senate Majority Leader reveals he went to rehab for alcoholism". NY1. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Spector, Joseph (May 12, 2015). "Amid scrutiny, Flanagan vows NY is 'one state'". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Campanile, Carl; Conley, Kirstan (May 11, 2015). "John Flanagan replaces Skelos as NY Senate majority leader". New York Post. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  7. ^ John J. Flanagan (January 23, 2013). "Senator Flanagan and Assemblywoman Jaffee Announce Life-Saving "Breast Density Information" Law In Effect | NY State Senate". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  8. ^ John J. Flanagan (January 24, 2012). "Senator Flanagan Passes Legislation To Ban Salvia Divinorum And Calls On Assembly For Its Support | NY State Senate". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "New York Senate Passes Senator Flanagan's Salvia Divinorum Ban". March 21, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "NY State Senate Bill S1834A". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  11. ^ John J. Flanagan (May 9, 2011). "Senator Flanagan's Legislation to Ban Synthetic Marijuana Passes Senate | NY State Senate". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  12. ^ "NY State Senate Bill S2230". January 14, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "NY State Assembly Bill A8354". June 24, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Regents Reform Agenda: "Assessing" Our Progress". October 1, 2013. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  15. ^ "NY State Senate Bill S809". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "Assembly Approves Child Victims Act". June 7, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ Segers, Grace (May 31, 2018). "How the state Senate broke down this week, explained". City & State. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  19. ^ "Flanagan Rips Cuomo's RHA Support". July 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  20. ^ Harding, Robert (July 22, 2018). "Eye on NY: How CNY state Senate race could decide fate of abortion rights bill". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  21. ^ Oil Slick Award

External links

  • New York State Senate: John J. Flanagan
  • John J. Flanagan Attorney Profile – Forchelli, Curto, Crowe, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Cohn, LLP: John J. Flanagan at the Wayback Machine (archived February 14, 2009)
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Position created
Member of the New York Senate
from the 9th district

Succeeded by
Andrew Raia
New York State Senate
Preceded by
James J. Lack
Member of the New York Senate
from the 2nd district

Preceded by
Suzi Oppenheimer
Chair of the New York Senate Education Committee
Succeeded by
Carl L. Marcellino
Preceded by
Dean Skelos
Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York Senate
Succeeded by
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Preceded by
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Minority Leader of the New York Senate
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