Biography

Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli
Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli represents the 129th Assembly District, which includes the Northside, Westside, Eastwood, Valley and Downtown areas of the City of Syracuse – Syracuse University Area, Outer Comstock, Eastwood - as well as the Town of Geddes, including the Village of Solvay, and the Town of Van Buren, including a portion of the Village of Baldwinsville. He first won election in 1998 for an open Assembly seat and was re-elected every two years through 2016.

During his terms in office, Assemblyman Magnarelli has focused his efforts on bringing more jobs to Central New York, lowering taxes, providing students a better education at every level, improving access to healthcare, keeping our families safe and supporting Veterans.

Some of Assemblyman Magnarelli’s most notable accomplishments include:

JOBS

  • Secured $37m for the Syracuse Center of Excellence (CoE).
  • Funded the initial $20 million for the Syracuse University Connective Corridor.
  • Helped secure $615.5 million for projects in the CNY Region as a voting member of the CNY Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).
  • Helped secure the Upstate Regional Initiative (URI) award of $500 million for the CNY region.

TAXES

  • Voted to cut taxes for middle class families.
  • Voted to reduce the marriage penalty tax – saving couples $200 million annually.
  • Voted grant funding to school districts for a wide variety of teaching, security and athletic measures.

SCHOOLS

  • In 2016, voted for $28.5 billion in School Aid, the highest amount ever.
  • Took the lead in Albany to establish the “Say Yes to Education” program in the City of Syracuse.
  • Sponsored the legislation that established the Syracuse Joint Schools Construction Board (JSCB) Phases I and II, which allows for the renovations of our city school facilities.
  • Funded the Henninger High School and Corcoran High School sports fields.

HEALTHCARE

  • Authored legislation that became law mandating hospitals and birth centers to provide education regarding the dangers of “Shaken Baby Syndrome”.
  • Supported the Women’s Health and Wellness Act, giving New York the most comprehensive women’s health coverage law in the country.
  • Helped preserve and expand the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program which provides seniors low-cost prescriptions.

COMMUNITIES

  • Sponsor and driving force behind the statewide “Amber Alert” law, passed in 2002.
  • Enacted legislation that led to an alert system for missing seniors and vulnerable adults.
  • Sponsored “Tiffany’s Law” to allow for repeat DWI offenders to be given increased penalties when they re-offend while piloting a boat.
  • Sponsored “Peter Falk’s Law to protect the right of adult children to visit their ill parents.
  • Funded building and field renovations for several City Little League Park Programs.
  • Funded renovations to numerous Town and City park playgrounds and park projects.
  • Funded renovations to the Geddes Youth Center and Woods Road Park and Veterans Memorial and other Geddes Parks.
  • Provided funding for the Village of Solvay Caroline Ave. retaining wall project.
  • Funded Van Buren Central Park playground.
  • Funded the purchase of the Van Buren salt storage building.
  • Provided funding for the Maple Road sidewalk installation.
  • Funded renovations to Baldwinsville’s Paper Mill Island and Lighting the Way projects.
  • Supported the 129th District’s fire and police departments, securing funding for protective and safety gear, a rescue boat and improvements to facilities.
  • Provided the funding for the City of Syracuse’s neighborhood cameras located in: Strathmore’s Onondaga Park; Schiller Park; Hawley-Green neighborhood; Automobile Row Business District; Wall Street neighborhood; Park Street and Butternut Street areas; Washington Square Park; Grant/Highland/Butternut Street areas; N. Salina St. Corridor; Lodi Street areas.
  • Sponsored legislation to authorize the City of Syracuse to form a new bureau to combat code violations.

VETERANS

  • A staunch supporter of Veterans, Assemblyman Magnarelli reinvigorated the Annual Veterans Parade in Onondaga County after it had been all but forgotten. The parade is now the CNY Veterans Parade and Expo held annually at the NYS Fairgrounds and is attended by thousands of people throughout the CNY region.
  • Passed legislation that helps veterans in need of mental health and/or substance abuse services.
  • Supported legislation that allows all veterans that enter the NYS Pension system to receive pension credit for their military service.

Currently, Assemblyman Magnarelli serves as Chairman of the NYS Assembly’s Local Governments Committee. This committee is one of the Assembly’s busiest, and has jurisdiction over a wide range of laws and issues that impact local governments throughout New York State. Specifically, this jurisdiction includes: the General Municipal, Municipal Home rule, Local Finance, County, Town, Village, Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit and Volunteer Ambulance Workers’ Benefit laws. Additionally, the committee handles several “home rule” requests from local governments every year. It also has a significant impact on economic development, as it has oversight of the many Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) across New York State. As Chair, Assemblyman Magnarelli has sponsored legislation that improves the performance of IDAs, requiring them to report annually the ratio between benefits granted and jobs created. Finally, as Chair of Local Governments, Assemblyman Magnarelli serves on the NYS Mandate Relief Council.

Assemblyman Magnarelli also sits on the Economic Development Committee, the Education Committee, and the Steering and Oversight Committees of the NYS Assembly.

Growing up in Syracuse, Assemblyman Magnarelli attended Our Lady of Pompei School and St. John the Baptist Academy before going on to Syracuse University, where he majored in history. He then attended Syracuse University Law School, graduating with honors in 1973. Upon graduating, he entered the Army Reserves, serving for six years and rising to the rank of Captain.

Assemblyman Magnarelli was married for over 40 years his wife Karen, a former city school teacher, who passed away in 2017. Together they raised their three children and have four grandchildren, Olivia, Nora, Ella and Wesley.