We have a hard time imagining Assemblyman Phil Steck at a party wearing a silly hat and blowing a paper horn.
We imagine him, instead, off in a corner wearing a gray suit, poring over the finer points of legislation to amend state Insurance Law to allow municipalities to join county self-insurance plans.
Steck, a Democrat seeking a fourth-term representing the residents of the 110th Assembly District, doesn’t give his constituents the flash. But he does give them the intellect, hard work and attention to detail that they need from a state lawmaker.
The former prosecutor also provides his constituents with an independent voice in Albany, even bucking the Democratic governor at times when he doesn’t share his views. (He voted against the budget over educational policy and StartUp-NY, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature economic development initiatives.)
Steck has spoken out against of government corruption, pushed successfully to remove pensions from convicted politicians and sought stronger laws to prevent politicians from using their offices for financial gain. And he’s pushed to reign in the power of the governor and state agencies, which he says display abusive behavior toward citizens.
He’s worked to lower government costs, secured millions in state funding for local parks, libraries and infrastructure, and cosponsored a bill (vetoed by the governor) to force the state to reimburse localities for the costs of indigent criminal defense.
We would like to see him get out more and interact with his constituents to gain a better grasp of what concerns them.
His opponent, Colonie councilman and former police detective Christopher Carey, has a long record of public service. He’s pushing for more funding for infrastructure, a repeal of the SAFE Act, and school security.
But before he joins the Legislature, he needs to get better versed in the details of some important issues, particularly the school funding issue that threatens local districts like Schenectady.
Phil Steck is a solid legislator who works hard for the people of the 110th Assembly District. He’s earned another term.