Michael Fitzpatrick
Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor:

The chance to represent the people of the 7th Assembly District is indeed an honor and a privilege. The New York state Legislature has a long and proud history of important and sometimes groundbreaking legislation. Sometimes, however, as in the case of our failed budget process, the government does not do its best to inspire confidence.

I am pleased to send this legislative report on some of the achievements we have made this session, along with our efforts to reform the state budget process.

Making our communities safer remains a top priority. That’s why I have fought for ways to protect our children from the dangers of hit-and-run drivers, as well as gangs, bullying and hazing. At the same time, we must continue our efforts to strengthen our community institutions, such as schools and libraries, to provide havens for our children and to continually improve the quality of life for all our citizens.

I will keep fighting to help make our community and state a desirable place in which to work, live and raise our families.

As always, I welcome hearing from you regarding the many issues facing our great state. Please be assured your concerns and opinions are taken into account as the legislative process unfolds. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance.


Michael J. Fitzpatrick
Member of Assembly

Contact Assemblyman Fitzpatrick:
Suite 202, 50 Route 111
Smithtown, NY 11787
(631) 724-2929

A Helping Hand for
the Smithtown Library District

Community libraries play a critical role in the education of our children. They provide a safe haven for children and adults alike to read great adventures, learn about other countries or explore the wonders of nearly any subject imaginable.

An important part of any library is its board of trustees made up of community members dedicated to keeping our libraries operating and in good shape. The Smithtown Library board members, in particular, have reached out to the community diligently in an effort to improve services. That’s why when they came to me looking for appropriate help, I was more than happy to lend a hand.

The board was experiencing problems with the timeline it needed to provide a library budget and hold trustee elections. The board requested that the budget deadline and trustee elections be moved from the spring to the fall, and that the start date of trustees’ terms of office be changed from July 1 to January 1. These changes would allow the trustees to more accurately develop a budget for the Smithtown Library.

In an effort to remedy this situation and give the library the tools it needed to better serve the community, I worked alongside the trustees and state Sen. John Flanagan to move the changes through the state Legislature. I am happy for the opportunity to sponsor this legislation for the benefit of the library and its users.

Gov. Pataki applauded Smithtown Library for its “We, the People” program during a special ceremony in Albany. Assemblyman Fitzpatrick, a longtime library supporter, joined the celebration. Pictured from left to right are “We, the People” program coordinator David Berner, Smithtown Library Director Peter Ward, Gov. Pataki, Assemblyman Fitzpatrick, Gerald Nichols, director of Suffolk Cooperative Library Services, and state Sen. John Flanagan.

Stiffer Penalties for
Hit-and-Run Drivers

aking our community safer is a top legislative priority. We should feel safe from drugs, crime and reckless activity in our neighborhoods. One way we can protect our families is by demanding stiffer penalties for the despicable crime of hit-and-run driving and leaving the scene of a fatal auto accident.

Assemblyman Fitzpatrick speaking at a press conference to promote legislation that would stiffen the penalties against hit-and-run drivers.
Current penalties for leaving the scene of a fatal auto accident amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. How can we let stand the fact that drunk drivers involved in fatal hit-and-run accidents can actually receive more lenient punishments if they leave their victims to die while they take the time to become sober?

This spring, I proposed increasing the charge for leaving the scene of a fatal auto accident from a Class E to a Class D felony, which carries a prison term of up to seven years, thus nearly doubling the current sentencing provisions.

I am fighting in the Assembly for passage of this legislation and will continue to propose good public policy to make our community even safer for our families.

Cracking Down on Gangs,
Hazing and Bullying

hile every crime has a negative effect on our community, gang activity and bullying pose serious threats to our quality of life. My Assembly colleagues and I have been busy creating legislation that gets right to the heart of gang recruitment, hazing and school bullying. These types of activity take away from the positive learning experience that every child deserves.

The following are some examples of policy I think will help prevent gangs and bullies from invading our homes, school and lives of our children:

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, right, discusses the Minority Conference’s anti-gang, hazing and bullying legislative proposals with Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, a nonprofit, all-volunteer, crime-fighting organization.


  • Establish penalties for those who commit crimes as members of a street gang
  • Make it a crime to commit a gang-related offense within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Create the criminal offense of physically threatening or otherwise coercing others into participating in a gang, including on or near school grounds.


  • Raise the penalty for the crime of hazing
  • Create the new crime of failing to report a hazing incident to a law enforcement official
  • Strengthen state laws against bullying and harassment of students, teachers and other school personnel.

This legislation would give law enforcement officers the resources necessary to rid our streets of criminals and make our educational institutions safe learning environments where students can reach their full potential.


Assemblyman Fitzpatrick knows that late state budgets are not only embarrassing but can hurt the education of our children.
or the past 20 years, county and local governments have been at the mercy of the state’s dysfunctional budget process, and they have lost confidence in the legislative process. You are entitled to a more efficient and effective government that serves the people, not special interests.

I am pleased to report that there have been great strides in Albany toward a realistic budget reform package that ensures an on-time budget and saves you, the taxpayer, money.

When budgets are late it means that public entities such as schools and local governments are unsure of how much funding they will receive for their own budget. It also often means borrowing money at high interest rates until a state budget is passed. This costs us money. We need budgets on-time, every time.

Key provisions in the agreed-upon
budget reform plan include:

  • Creation of a contingency budget if a new budget is not in place by the start of the new fiscal year
  • Moving the start of the fiscal year from April 1 to May 1 in order to have better revenue projections
  • Require a two-year appropriation for aid to education.

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick:
Working For You