Biography

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger
Robin Schimminger was born in North Tonawanda, New York,

on September 17, 1947. He graduated from Cardinal O'Hara

High School in the Town of Tonawanda and earned a

Bachelor of Arts degree at Canisius College in Buffalo

where he was inducted into the DiGamma and Alpha Sigma Nu

Honor Societies. Mr. Schimminger also studied at

Ireland's William Butler Yeats International School of

Literature and the University College, Dublin. He

received his Juris Doctor degree from the New York

University School of Law, where he was awarded the Jack

Kroner Medal. He was subsequently admitted to the New

York Bar.

Before his election to the State Assembly in

1976, Mr. Schimminger was elected twice (1973 and 1975)

to the Erie County Legislature where he served as

chairman of the Public Health Committee.

Mr. Schimminger was named the first chairman of

the new Assembly Standing Committee on Small Business in

1985 in recognition of his accomplishments as chairman of

the former Subcommittee on Small Business from its

inception in 1980 through 1984. He continued to chair the

Small Business Committee until 1997, at which time he was

named to chair the Assembly Standing Committee on

Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and

Industry. He has sponsored and played key roles in

enacting numerous measures strengthening the state's

economic development policies, improving its tax and

regulatory climate, modernizing workforce training

programs, enhancing coordination of the state's economic

development efforts, and encouraging the development of

new businesses and the creation of new jobs.

Assemblyman Schimminger also demonstrated his

commitment to job growth and economic development with

his Omnibus Procurement Act, which maximizes the

opportunity for in-state firms to do business with New

York State. His Linked Deposit Program, an innovative low

interest loan program for small and medium-sized

businesses which has been singled out for national

recognition by the U.S. Small Business Administration,

has been credited with keeping or creating thousands of

jobs in New York State.

Mr. Schimminger has also served as a member of

the joint Legislative Commission on Government

Administration (formerly the Commission on Economy and

Efficiency in Government), which he previously chaired.

In that capacity, he originated and developed legislation

establishing a framework of safeguards against fraud,

waste and abuse in state government which ultimately

became the landmark Internal Audit and Control Act. The

statute, which requires that modern accounting and

auditing procedures be employed to safeguard the public's

state tax dollars, is now also being used as a model by

local governments across New York State.

Among Mr. Schimminger's many other legislative

accomplishments are the "toxic torts" law changing the

statute of limitations in toxic exposure cases, and laws

reforming the insanity defense, requiring first aid for

choking information to be posted in restaurants, and

outlawing voyeuristic videotaping of individuals in

private situations. He also authored the "'Under 21'

Driver's License" to aid in reducing alcohol sales to

minors. His Equal Access to Justice Act works to

discourage arbitrary and capricious actions by state

agencies by allowing individuals of modest means, small

businesses and not for profit corporations to recover the

legal costs of fighting state fines and actions found to

be without substantial justification.

Mr. Schimminger also authored a "smart growth"

law encouraging the reuse of existing facilities and

sites for business relocations and expansions; the

Revised Model Trademark Act, modernizing New York's

outdated trademark laws; and legislation strengthening an

individual's right to authorize organ donation, thereby

increasing the number of New Yorkers who may benefit from

"the gift of life." In all, Mr. Schimminger has nearly

400 laws to his credit.

In addition to chairing the State Assembly

Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce

and Industry, Mr. Schimminger serves on the Codes,

Health, and Ways and Means Committees in the State

Assembly. He is the Assembly Chair of the Western New

York State Legislative Delegation. He is also a member of

the Western New York Regional Economic Development

council. Mr. Schimminger is a member of the Council of

State Governments (CSG), serving as co-chair of the

Eastern Regional Conference Eastern States / Eastern

Canadian Provinces Committee.

Mr. Schimminger has also served on the boards of

numerous civic, community, educational and cultural

organizations. He is a co-founder of the Buffalo Dortmund

Sister City Committee.

Married to the former Melinda Downey, Mr.

Schimminger resides with his wife in Kenmore, New York.