Biography

Andrew Hevesi
Andrew D. Hevesi was first elected to serve the residents of the 28th district in the New York State Assembly on May 10, 2005. A lifelong resident of the area, Assemblyman Hevesi has been privileged to represent the constituents of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Middle Village, Glendale, and Kew Gardens.

In February 2015, Assemblyman Hevesi was named Chairman of the Assembly Social Services Committee, which is responsible for providing oversight of programs administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and analyzing the state’s multi-billion dollar funding allotment for social services each fiscal year. In this role, the Assemblyman reviews legislation addressing financial, medical, and other support for people in need throughout New York State.

In order to address the worst homeless crisis in New York since the Great Depression, Assemblyman Hevesi partnered with the Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing and the Supportive Housing Network to work towards the creation of 35,000 units of Statewide Supportive Housing for the chronically homeless. In 2015, Assemblyman Hevesi gathered bipartisan support of 133 of his Assembly colleagues and called for the development of 35,000 new units of supportive housing over the next ten years. Subsequently, the Governor announced in his 2016 State of the State Address that New York State would fund 20,000 of these units, and in the 2016-2017 enacted budget, $1 Billion was allocated to build the first 6,000 units. The Mayor of the City of New York also publicly committed, and is currently in the process of building, 15,000 units of supportive housing in New York City.

Unfortunately, in 2016 New York State reported to The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that in New York, over 19,000 more people enter homelessness per year than exit homelessness each year. Recognizing that New York State has done nothing of scale to address this growing trend of homelessness, Assemblyman Hevesi began working with the Coalition for the Homeless, the Empire Justice Center, the Legal Aid Society, and the New York State Coalition against Domestic Violence to create the Home Stability Support (HSS) program to stem the tide of homelessness in New York State.

HSS is a new statewide rental supplement for families and individuals who are eligible for public assistance that are currently homeless, facing eviction, or have lost their housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions. This program is designed to be 100% state-funded, thereby providing mandate relief to financially strained counties. 113 members of the NYS Assembly support HSS and the number of NYS Senators of both parties continues to grow. In addition, the Mayor, the Comptroller and the Public Advocate of the City of New York as well as over 30 members of the New York City Council are in support. A number of Congress members, County Executives, Mayors and advocacy groups across the state have joined the coalition in support of HSS as well. Additionally, The New York Times and several other papers

have supported this program in their editorial pages.

The Assemblyman secured a budget allocation of $2.1 million in FY 2015-2016 which enabled hundreds of Runaway and Homeless Youth across New York State to obtain suitable housing, food, counseling, transportation, and other support.

To address the scourge of human trafficking, the Assemblyman wrote the law that expands the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking to include seven new members, requires the creation of several issue specific subcommittees with an annual reporting requirement to the legislature including recommendations on how to prosecute purveyors and protect victims of these atrocious crimes. Subsequent to the passage of this law, Assemblyman Hevesi was appointed by Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie to the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking.

In order to help children leave the foster care system for permanent homes, Assemblyman Hevesi wrote the law amending the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP). KinGAP is designed to help children leave the foster care system and permanently stay with a relative who receives a subsidy to care for the child. The original KinGAP program was limited to relatives who were related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption. The new law expands the definition of “prospective relative guardian,” to include “fictive kin,” meaning those who are like relatives, but not necessarily related by blood, marriage or adoption such as a step-parent, a g-dparent, a neighbor, or family friend, as determined by a family court judge. The new KinGAP law will enable hundreds of children to leave the foster care system, exponentially increasing their chances for success and self-sufficiency.

To protect victims of domestic violence, the first law Assemblyman Hevesi wrote in the legislature increased penalties for repeat perpetrators of domestic violence that violate orders of protections and commit the most serious crimes, including physical abuse and stalking. This law increased the maximum penalty for those violations from criminal contempt in the first degree, a class E felony, to aggravated criminal contempt, a class D felony which has a penalty of up to 7 years in prison.

Assemblyman Hevesi wrote the law that created the New York State information technology center, or “iCenter.” The iCenter is designed to test and evaluate technological assets before these systems are purchased in bulk, costing taxpayers billions of dollars. State agencies now have the ability to work with technology leaders in the private sector to develop the best practices, test uses of technology, and implement additional features to ensure maximum efficiency of these programs before the state buys technology assets in bulk.

Assemblyman Hevesi wrote the law that created a Generation Attribute Tracking System for renewable energy. As New York, and the country, moves toward a market based system to stimulate renewable energy generation, New York needed this tracking system in order to successfully monitor the sale and trade of this commodity in the marketplace and to ensure the credibility of the generation attribute certificate market.

The Assemblyman has negotiated a budget allocation of $3 million dollars in each of the FY2013-2014, FY2014-2015, FY2015-2016, and FY2016-2017 enacted budgets to upgrade antiquated freight locomotive engines that run through his district, as well as other parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. These new environmentally friendly engines have significantly reduced noxious toxins released into the atmosphere, providing relief to families that live along the railways.

From 2011-2015, Assemblyman Hevesi served as Chairman of the Assembly Oversight, Analysis, and Investigations Committee. In order to provide oversight to the hundreds of state departments, agencies, authorities, commissions, and task forces that comprise New York State government, the Assemblyman wrote and passed the “Enterprise Fraud” law, which allows the New York State Comptroller’s Office to collect and use appropriate data from all state agencies and authorities to combat fraud, waste, and abuse. This program enables the Office of the State Comptroller to analyze data across all sectors of New York State government to systematically detect improper behavior, which has saved taxpayers tens of millions of dollars since its creation.

On the local level, in order to foster direct and easily accessible contact between himself and the residents of his district, Assemblyman Hevesi maintains a legislative email program that is used to update thousands of his constituents on legislation that passes through Albany, allows individuals to give feedback on pending legislation before votes are cast, and keeps constituents updated regarding events and programs taking place throughout the community. The Assemblyman and his staff pride themselves on their hands on approach to each unique constituent case, and have successfully dealt with thousands of individual concerns since the Assemblyman took office.

Andrew obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Queens College. He served as Chief of Staff to former New York State Assemblyman, and now State Senator Jeff Klein. Andrew was also the Director of Community Affairs for New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, and worked in the Domestic Violence Bureau of the Queens County District Attorney’s Office. Currently, Andrew lives in Forest Hills with his wife Rachel and their daughter.