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Assemblyman
Andrew P. Raia
Assembly District 12
 
Biography
Andrew Raia

Andrew Raia of East Northport is a lifelong resident of Huntington and served as the New York State Assemblyman for the 9th Assembly District for five terms. Beginning January 1, 2013, when the Assembly District lines were redrawn to reflect population shifts reported in the 2010 Census, Assemblyman Raia began serving his 6th term as the representative for the 12th Assembly District. The district encompasses parts of the towns of Huntington, Babylon and Islip.

Assemblyman Raia currently serves as the Deputy Minority Whip and the Ranking Minority Member on the Health Committee, as well as a member of the Aging, Banks, Housing, and Rules committees. He is also a representative on the Legislative Council on Health Care Financing and a member of the Budget Conference Committee on Health. Assemblyman Raia is a member of a number of legislative caucuses, including the New York State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the New York State Legislative Aviation Caucus (NYLAC) and the State Automotive Enthusiasts Legislative Caucus.

Health care policy always has been a legislative priority for Assemblyman Raia; in 2013, after years of dedicated work on the Assembly Health Committee, he was appointed as the new Ranking Minority Member. Between passage of the Affordable Care Act and the retirement of the Baby Boomer Generation, Assemblyman Raia understands the challenges that await the health care industry in New York State, and stands fully prepared to work with his colleagues to ensure New York State maintains the highest quality of care possible.

Andrew Raia’s legislative priorities do not end with health care policy issues in New York. In 2006, when he was appointed as the Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Banks Committee, he centered his attention on consumer protection measures to combat identity theft and mortgage fraud, and co-sponsored the Home Equity Theft Prevention Act. He fought hard to pass legislation that protects homeowners from becoming victims of home equity theft while at the same time providing homeowners with legal recourse if violations are committed. He feels that it is his responsibility as a legislator to pass laws that help prevent white-collar criminals from taking advantage of hardworking homeowners. Assemblyman Raia is proactive on the issue of mortgage foreclosure, helping residents on Long Island remain in their homes and helping prevent a future mortgage crisis by educating consumers through foreclosure prevention seminars. In addition to these measures, Assemblyman Raia also authored legislation exempting the refinancing of certain mortgages from the tax on mortgages in order to give incentives for people to properly refinance their mortgages at a lower overall cost and take advantage of historically-low interest rates.

Assemblyman Raia has proactively supported and established key initiatives and programs within the district and throughout New York State. As the former Ranking Minority Member and current member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Aging, he has placed a focus on our senior citizen communities. As part of these programs, he has met with numerous senior citizens during his visits to retirement homes, nursing homes and veterans’ hospitals. It is through these community outreach initiatives that he is able to learn firsthand about time sensitive and central concerns affecting senior citizens. As a result, Assemblyman Raia has introduced initiatives in response to their concerns regarding health care, prescription drug coverage and financial security. These initiatives include his legislation aimed at easing the burden placed on senior citizens as a result of high property taxes and costs of healthcare, including the rising cost of prescriptions. In addition to these initiatives, Assemblyman Raia believes in legally protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities and has introduced legislation that calls for mandatory imprisonment and plea restrictions for individuals who victimize the elderly and physically disabled.

During his tenure in office, Andrew Raia also has served as a member on the Education; Social Services; Local Governments; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry committees. He also served on the Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse Minority Task Force, as well as the Small Business in New York State Minority Task Force and the Task Force on Education. Assemblyman Raia worked to keep our community safe as a founding member of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Sex Crimes Against Children and Women, and also prides himself on his work with veterans and seniors.

Assemblyman Raia also has spent his time focusing on other key issues that affect our state and communities during these difficult economic times. Too often, leaders in Albany have looked to the people of Long Island as a blank check, and Assemblyman Raia consistently fights to make sure that the residents of Long Island get their fair share of state resources back from Albany. It is this reality that prompted him to introduce legislation aimed at removing the excessive unfunded mandates that stifle economic growth on Long Island and impose harsh burdens on our local governments and school districts. Along with the high cost of living, New York also ranks among the top in Medicaid waste and fraud. New York spends on average $17,000 a year on Medicaid patients, compared to the nationwide average of $7,000, and Medicaid remains among the largest portions of New York’s annual budget. Assemblyman Raia has been tackling the issues surrounding high Medicaid spending by rooting out fraud and making program changes to reduce the escalating cost of the program.

Outside of his legislative work in Albany, Assemblyman Raia is very active in the community that he represents, and boasts an extensive and innovative community service record, including many community outreach programs. His mock press conferences provide students who are interested in a possible career in government, media, journalism or photography with hands-on experience, and have been well attended by various schools within the district. The mock press conferences are covered by the local media, which gives the students a great level of excitement about the events, and have been well received by all who have attended. Assemblyman Raia also takes part in career days for high school students; he sponsors a “There Ought to be a Law” Poster Contest to teach students how an idea becomes a law; Summer Healthy Points Challenges for elementary school students to promote healthy living; and frequently visits primary and secondary schools to educate students on the basic knowledge of New York State government.

As job creation remains a consistent priority for Assemblyman Raia, he has initiated job fairs in the community aimed at promoting local employment opportunities as well as job fairs for veterans. He is very active among veterans’ organizations and programs to help veterans in the community. His “Operation Recognition” program awards high school diplomas to veterans who had served our country prior to receiving their diplomas and New York State Medals to former servicemen who have not been given their full recognition yet. Assemblyman Raia supports the Marines’ “Toys for Tots” program and the Balls to Baghdad, a community collection of golf clubs and golf balls sent to U.S. troops to help combat stress. He is also a fervent supporter of the V.A. Hospital in Northport located in the 12th Assembly District.

Andrew Raia has been active for many years in numerous community and social service causes and organizations, both as a board member and a participant. He formally served on the executive boards of the Huntington Boys and Girls Club, Huntington Freedom Day Care Center, Huntington Station Enrichment Center, Katherine Gibbs, and Perspectives on Youth. He is also a member of the Northport Historical Society, the Babylon Historical Society, the Huntington Historical Society, and the Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Society, as well as the Elwood Tax Payers Association and the League of Women Voters of Huntington. Through his positive voting record in support of the farm community in New York, the New York Farm Bureau, Inc. added Assemblyman Raia as a member of the Circle of Friends for the 2013 Legislative Session.

In addition to these groups, Assemblyman Raia is also a member of the Knights of Columbus Father Thomas A. Judge Council in East Northport, where he serves as a Third Degree Knight; the Sons of Italy Constantino Brumidi Lodge in Deer Park; the New York State Conference of Italian-American Legislators; and the Chambers of Commerce in Huntington, Northport, East Northport, Babylon and West Islip. He is an honorary board member for the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Building Homes for Heroes, and an honorary life member of the Bay Constable Benevolent Association. Mr. Raia graduated from the Leadership Huntington Foundation Program and has been named Long Island Business News’ 2008 40 under 40 Honoree. He also remains an ongoing advocate for children’s programs, including the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America.

After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1991, Andrew Raia immediately began his impressive career in public service and has continuously worked for the betterment of the community. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Mr. Raia served for 12 years as a leading staff member in the legislative offices of the State Assembly, the State Senate, and the Suffolk County Legislature.

Honors and Awards

Boy Scouts of America Suffolk County Council Matinecock District Good Deed Award Recipient - 2013

Honorary Chairperson of the American Kennel Club - 2013, 2012, 2011

Certificate of Appreciation from the Knights of Columbus Father Thomas A. Judge Council - 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Camp Alvernia 2011 Honorary Camper

Grand Marshall of the Long Island Sons of Italy Columbus Day Parade - 2010

Happi Act Honoree from Autism Awareness - 2010

Certificate of Appreciation from the Order Sons of Italy Arturo Toscanini Lodge - 2010

Honored by the Deer Park Lions Club - 2010

Happi Act Honoree from Autism Awareness - 2009

Certificate of Appreciation from the Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence - 2008, 2007, 2006

Meritorious and Distinguished Service - Veterans of Foreign Wars - 2007

Paumanack Village’s Outstanding Voluntary Service - 2007

Deer Park Fire Department Honoree - 2007

Gurwin Jewish Center 2006 Honoree

Knights of Columbus Our Lady of the Rosary Exceptional Service Honoree - 2005

Youth Directions and Alternative 2003 Honoree

Long Island Citizens for Community Values Honoree - 2003

100th Anniversary Huntington Manor Fire Department Honoree - 2003

 
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