Editorial: State Assembly 16th District

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Anthony D’Urso was first elected to the state Assembly two years ago at the age of 77.

The Port Washington resident has proven an energetic, quick study since then, immersing himself in environmental issues important to Long Island and making himself a highly visible presence in the district.

He chairs the Long Island Sound Task Force, co-sponsored a bill to remove 1,4-dioxane from household cleaning products and wants to reduce fertilizer use to cut the threat to Long Island’s aquifers.

D’Urso said in his second term he plans to focus on a strong ethics reform package that would include eliminating the so-called LLC loophole, which allows companies to make virtually unlimited campaign contributions to candidates.

He said he would also seek to appoint a state inspector general to oversee spending by the MTA and would attempt to tweak the state Foundation Aid Formula to address the wide disparity in spending between affluent and less affluent school districts.

He is opposed by Byron A. Divins Jr., 47, a Navy veteran and Roslyn attorney, who said his No. 1 focus was school safety.

Divins said he wants voting taken out of schools and armed personnel on every campus. We agree with taking voting out of the schools as part of an overall reform of New York’s election system, but strongly oppose armed personnel on every campus.

We also disagree with Divins on a host of issues that match closely to what Republicans in the state Senate support.

Divins said he does not support the Reproductive Health Act, which Democrats say would codify in state law Roe v. Wade protections now threatened by the Supreme Court. Divins said he objected to a provision that would permit medical professionals licensed by the state to performing nonsurgical abortions. He said people performing abortions should in all cases be doctors.

Divins also said he opposed the Child Victims Act, a bill backed by Democrats which would extend the civil statute of limitations to 50 years old and the criminal to 28 years old to victims of sexual assault.

Instead, he said, he supported a bill supported by state Senate Republicans that would have extended the criminal statute of limitations but not for civil penalties. Instead, a system would be established that would have let organizations that allowed the sexual assault of children to get off the hook financially.

Blank Slate Media endorses D’Urso.

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