Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) was first elected to the Senate in 1976. As a former Executive Director of the Senate Education Committee, with an extensive background in public education, he brings a wealth of knowledge to state government and plays a key role in shaping education policy.
Senator LaValle’s achievements in education and higher education are matched by a distinguished record in health care. He is most proud of his work in establishing a Burn Unit at University Hospital in Stony Brook. His legislation to protect and advance the rights of patients earned him special recognition from the Suffolk County Breast Health Partnership in 1996. St. Charles Hospice also paid tribute to his efforts in developing a program for terminally ill patients in nursing homes. His commitment to young people in need is evidenced in his selection as the recipient of the coveted “Children’s Hope Award” presented on behalf of Little Flower Children’s Services.
Senator LaValle’s environmental legacy is reflected in the enactment of the Pine Barrens Preservation Act of 1993. As the author of this historic legislation, he has assured the protection of environmentally-sensitive lands for generations to come. This measure is often cited as a landmark initiative in the future environmental well-being
of Long Island. The Long Island Pine Barrens Society, the Group for the South Fork, the North Fork Environmental Council, the Peconic Land Trust, and the Nature Conservancy are but a few of the many organizations from
whom he has received accolades for his positive contributions on environmental issues.
Throughout his tenure in the New York State Senate, real property tax relief has been an important priority for Senator LaValle. As a major architect in the development of the STAR program, he takes tremendous personal satisfaction in the benefits this initiative has brought to homeowners in the First Senatorial District.
Senator LaValle has been a formidable advocate for the disabled. He was responsible for drafting much of the existing legislation providing disabled citizens with greater access to educational opportunities.
Senator LaValle has remained in the forefront championing issues important to senior citizens and he has been a leader in advancing bills critical to local firefighters and veterans’ organizations.
In recognition of his outstanding dedication to the people of New York State, Senator LaValle has been repeatedly named “Man of the Year” and “Legislator of the Year” by diverse groups of local and statewide organizations. He was also presented the Medallion of the University from the State University of New York at Albany and the University Medal from Stony Brook University in tribute to his work in higher education. Both awards are the highest honor accorded by the universities.
Extremely proud of his Italian heritage, Senator LaValle was privileged to receive the honorary title “Cavaliere al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” from the Italian Government for his work in education and promotion of cultural exchange.
Born in Brooklyn, Senator LaValle graduated from Hempstead High School on Long Island. He earned his undergraduate degree at Adelphi College, a degree in Education at the State University College at New Paltz, and a J.D. degree at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Senator LaValle has completed extensive graduate study in Government and International Relations at New York University and received an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law Degree from Dowling College. He is a practicing attorney.
Senator LaValle is the father of two grown children, James and Lisa and the proud grandfather of Jessica Katherine and Elvis William LaValle, and Joshua Eric and Justin David Russ. He resides in Port Jefferson with his wife Penny.