|Member of the New York State Senate|
from the 23rd district
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2005
|Preceded by||Seymour P. Lachman|
|Born||September 28, 1963|
Queens, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Shore Acres, Staten Island|
|Alma mater||St. John's University (BA)|
Diane J. Savino (born September 28, 1963) is a Democratic politician representing the 23rd Senate District in the New York State Senate, in northern Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, including Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island.
From January 2011 to April 2018, Savino was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of eight Democratic state senators who formed a separate conference and allied themselves with Senate Republicans. Savino and her IDC colleagues rejoined the Senate Democratic Conference in April 2018. Savino was one of only two former members of the IDC that survived primary challenges in the 2018 New York Senate elections.
Early life and career
Savino was born in Astoria, Queens and went on to graduate from Dominican Commercial High School. She has a psychology degree from St. John's University as well as a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell.
Prior to elected office, Savino began her career in public service as a caseworker for New York City's Administration for Children's Services, providing direct assistance to abused and neglected children. She was an active member of her local labor union, the Social Service Employees Union, Local 371, DC 37 of AFSCME, and became the Vice President for Political Action & Legislative Affairs.
State Senate career
On December 2, 2009, Savino voted for same sex marriage legislation, which failed to pass the Senate. Her speech on same-sex marriage became popular on the Internet. Subsequently, in 2011, the Marriage Equality Act passed the Senate and became law; Savino voted for this bill as well.
In 2011, Savino—together with Democratic Sens. Jeffrey D. Klein, David J. Valesky, and David Carlucci—formed the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). The IDC caucused separately from the other State Senate Democrats; eventually, in December 2012, the IDC entered into a power-sharing arrangement with Senate Republicans. When the Republican Conference won enough seats for outright control of the Senate in 2014, Savino and the rest of the IDC chose to remain aligned with them.
As a member of the IDC, Savino was provided with a stipend, known as a "lulu", worth $13,500 per year that is designated by Legislative Law 5-1 for the Chair of the Senate Codes Committee. Senate Republicans named her Vice Chair of that committee, reserving the chairmanship for a Republican; in order to provide the stipend to Savino, payroll officials falsified state documents.
In 2014, medical marijuana was legalized in New York; Savino was the lead sponsor of that legislation. Savino has also sponsored proposed legislation that would legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Savino and her IDC colleagues rejoined the Senate Democratic Conference in April 2018. In the 2018 Democratic Primary, Savino defeated Jasmine Robinson, a legal secretary who had been endorsed by the progressive groups Citizen Action of New York and Our Revolution, by a 67-21% margin. Savino was one of only two former IDC members (along with David Carlucci) to win their primary races. In the 2018 general election, Savino defeated her Republican opponent, David Krainert, by a 69-28% margin.
- Savino was first elected to the State Senate in 2004 with 39,833 votes; her Republican opponent, Al Curtis, received 23,361 votes.
- In 2008, Savino was re-elected with 46,386 votes. Her Republican opponent, Richard Thomas, received 12,621 votes.
- In 2010, Savino was unopposed in the general election.
- In 2012, Savino was re-elected with 50,553 votes; her Republican opponent, Lisa Grey, received 15,131 votes.
- In 2014, Savino was unopposed in the general election.
- In 2016, Savino was unopposed in the primary and general election.
- In 2018, Savino won the Democratic nomination with 67% of the votes cast. She won the general election with 69% of the votes cast.
As of 2018, Savino was in a long-term relationship with then-State Senator Jeffrey Klein. The Italian-American politician is known for her early to bed, early to rise lifestyle. She lives by herself in Staten Island. She is a self-admitted "neurotic cleaner". New York politician Matthew Titone once tricked her into cleaning his apartment.
- "NY Senate District 23". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- McKinley, Jesse (May 9, 2017). "For Group of Breakaway Democrats in New York, It Pays to Be No. 2". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
- Kaplan, Thomas; Confessore, Nicholas (January 5, 2011). "4 Democrats in State Senate Break With Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Spector, Joseph (April 16, 2018). "After seven years, it's all over for the Senate Independent Democratic Conference". LoHud.com. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Wang, Vivian (April 16, 2018). "As Session Resumes, a Democratic Truce in Albany Seems Uneasy". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Wang, Vivian (2018-09-13). "Democratic Insurgents Topple 6 New York Senate Incumbents". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "About Diane J. Savino". NY State Senate. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "St. John's Students Join in Advocacy Day | St. John's University". www.stjohns.edu. Archived from the original on 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- Lawson, Kyle (2017-07-24). "Following ACS deaths, Savino looks to improve flawed child welfare system". silive.com. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "Savino named vice chairman of key committees". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
- "Gay Marriage Fails 24-38". New York Daily News. 2009-12-03. Archived from the original on December 5, 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Morris, M. (3 December 2009). "NY Senator Diane Savino Wins Over Internet". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Klein, diminished but still desired, sides with power". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- McKinley, Jesse (May 9, 2017). "For Group of Breakaway Democrats in New York, It Pays to Be No. 2". New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- McKinley, Jesse (May 11, 2017). "False Payroll Information Allows 3 State Senators to Collect Thousands". New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- "Medical marijuana bill sponsors Savino and Gottfried on its passage". SILive.com. 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
- Blain, Glenn (2017-09-07). "Ruling barring New York doctors from helping terminally ill patients commit suicide upheld". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
- "Candidate Endorsements - Citizen Action of New York". citizenactionny.org. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Jasmine Robinson". Our Revolution. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
- "Jasmine Robinson". Our Revolution. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Former IDC members, including Klein, go down to defeat". Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "New York Election Results". Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- Diane J. Savino, Vote in 2012 General Election[permanent dead link], New York State Senate. 29 January 2014. Accessed 2 May 2015.
- "Sen. Diane Savino defends breakaway dem chief accused of sexual assault". 11 January 2018.
- Elizabeth A. Harris, "Cleanliness Is Next to Politics," New York Times, March 27, 2011, WE section p. 2.