|Member of the New York State Senate|
from the 24th district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2007
|Preceded by||John J. Marchi|
|Member of the New York City Council|
from the 51st district
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2006
|Preceded by||Stephen J. Fiala|
|Succeeded by||Vincent M. Ignizio|
Andrew Joseph Lanza
March 12, 1964
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||St. John's University (BS)|
Fordham University (JD)
Andrew Joseph Lanza (born March 12, 1964) is an American lawyer and Republican politician. He currently serves as a member of the New York State Senate, representing the 24th district, which encompasses most of Staten Island. He was first elected in 2006, and was previously a member of the New York City Council for the 51st district.
Early life and career
He is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree and St. John's University, where he received a B.S. in Accounting. He is admitted for the practice of law to the Bars of New York, New Jersey, SDNY and DNJ.
Prior to his entry into politics, Lanza was associated with Mercury Securities LLC, a Wall Street software development and stock trading firm, where he was a Managing Member and General Counsel Partner. He also served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as a prosecutor of street crimes, felony cases, New York State Welfare Fraud and procedural and constitutional issues. Lanza received his corporate legal training with KPMG Peat Marwick as a Senior Auditor where he was in charge of auditing public and private firms, banks, importers and hospitals.
Lanza lives in Great Kills with his wife, Marcele, a public school administrator at a middle school in his district, and their three children. Lanza is a childhood friend of former United States Congressman Vito Fossella of Staten Island.
New York State Senate
In 2006, Lanza was elected to the New York State Senate, filling the seat vacated by Senator John J. Marchi, who retired after 50 years of service in the State Senate. Since his initial election, he has faced no serious opposition, and has run unopposed three times.
The Democrats took control of the state senate in the 2018 elections for only the third time since World War II. Lanza was left as the only Republican representing part of New York City in the chamber.
Judicial Independence: On June 21, 2007, Lanza and Assemblyman Michael Cusick announced passage of a new law that established the 13th Judicial District, consisting solely of Richmond County. This historic law separated Staten Island from the 2nd Judicial District (Brooklyn), thus giving Staten Island residents the opportunity to elect judges without the influence of another county. Prior to Judicial Independence, 91.6% of judges in the 2nd Judicial District were from Brooklyn even though Staten Island's population accounted for more than 15% of the population. Lanza introduced additional legislation in future years to further, to further increase the number of elected judges. In 2018, and again in 2019, new elected Supreme Court seats were established.
Ending Child Marriage: Lanza and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin led the charge, introducing a bill to end child marriage in New York. As highlighted in a New York Times Op-Ed titled, "America's Child-Marriage Problem, "A survey by the Tahirih Justice Center, an NGO that provides services to immigrant women and girls, identified as many as 3,000 known or suspected forced-marriage cases just between 2009 and 2011, many involving girls under age 18." Lanza's bill passed the Senate unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, raising the age of consent for marriage from 14 years old to 18 years old in New York.
I-STOP: New York's Internet System for Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, was signed into law in 2012 and went into effect in 2013. Lanza led the effort in the State Senate, while Assemblyman Michael Cusick led the charge in the State Assembly, to make this life-saving bill law. It passed unanimously. I-STOP established New York as the first State in the nation to mandate that physicians consult a database of a patient's prescription history before prescribing certain prescription drugs. Upon enactment of this law, New York immediately became the largest State in the nation to require that pharmacists and doctors have real time updates on the prescription needs of patients.
Safe Disposal: With a prescription drug epidemic raging, Lanza joined Assemblyman Michael Cusick to enact bipartisan legislation that established a dedicated Safe Disposal program so that New Yorkers could finally safely dispose of expired and unneeded prescription drugs all year long. The change in law allowed places such as local police precincts to serve as drop-off locations for prescriptions drugs that are no longer needed.
Fentanyl Analogs: In October, 2017 Governor Andrew Cuomo joined with Senator Lanza, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, and District Attorney Michael McMahon to announce a series of aggressive actions to combat the fentanyl crisis on Staten Island and across New York State. The Governor promoted legislation which would add 11 fentanyl analogs to the state controlled substances schedule, giving law enforcement the ability to go after the dealers who manufacture and sell these drugs. According to the Staten Island Advance, "On Staten Island, fentanyl-related deaths increased more than 700 percent from 2015 to 2016. In 2015, there were seven fentanyl-related deaths which jumped to 58 in 2016." In 2018 the US Drug Enforcement Administration approved an emergency order placing "all illicit fentanyl analogues not already regulated by the Controlled Substances Act into Schedule I-the category for substances with no currently accepted medical use-for two years" In 2020, the State Legislature enacted this law, closing the fentanyl loophole.
In 2011, Lanza 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. At the time, he said he believed the word marriage should "describe a union between a man and a woman."
In December 2013, Lanza took issue with a billboard secured by the American Atheists. He published a press release on his Senate web page where he stated that he was not surprised "people who do not believe in God are hateful and malicious", he likened the billboard to "Religious persecution of the kind that similarly lead to the Holocaust". He called for a boycott of Times Square so long as the advertisement was in place and for the IRS to investigate the American Atheists with an eye towards revocation of their tax-exempt status. American Atheists responded by asking if he would be calling for a boycott of his own district's businesses if a similar billboard was on Staten Island, and then they erected one there. Senator Lanza amended his press release to indicate his assumptions of malice and hatred are only of those who support the billboard, not all atheists. The most current Press release from the Senator has removed calls for an IRS investigation, and relented on his calls for a boycott of Times Square.
Lanza formerly served as Chairman of the Senate Cities Committee and Co-Chair of both the Senate Ethics Committee and the Legislative Ethics Commission.
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