Democratic State Sen. John Brooks thought he would be opposed in this year’s election by Republican Nick LaLota, a Suffolk County elections commissioner, but a state appellate court ruled running for office while being an elections commissioner was a clear conflict of interest for him, leaving Brooks to run unopposed for re-election in the 8th Senate District.
Brooks is sharply focused on the interests of his constituents, including public health concerns raised by the coronavirus, school district funding, property assessment issues and the Grumman-Navy toxic plume that is steadily creeping underground from Bethpage into Wantagh and Seaford.
Because Nassau County already has some of the highest annual property taxes in the country, Brooks argues, there must be a fairer method to assess them. And he has proposed legislation to cap the percentage of property taxes used to fund school expenses at 50 percent of a district’s total budget, as opposed to roughly 65 to 75 percent that is the estimated average in his district now.
Brooks, a former Seaford School District Board of Education trustee, is also pushing for every family to have access to a wireless connection, a necessity for remote learning as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
He has worked closely with environmental experts to develop new ways to conserve on water use, and has proposed legislation to make area streets and highways safer.
Brooks supports giving local small businesses a multi-year window to borrow money at lower rates of interest because of the financial challenges that they face amid the pandemic. And he opposes the $10,000 federal income-tax deduction cap for state and local taxes — before 2017, the deduction was unlimited. That cap has cost many Long Islanders thousands of dollars on their federal income taxes.
Given Brooks’s record of service to his constituents since he took office in 2017, the Herald urges voters to re-elect him next Tuesday.