James Nicholas Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) was first elected to the Assembly in 1982 and served as Minority Leader from 2005 to 2009. Throughout his tenure, Tedisco has been a leader and outspoken advocate for reforming state government and the budget process. He has authored numerous bills designed to make government more accountable to the people and bring about an on-time, fiscally responsible budget.
In December 2011, the Associated Press ran a story on effective legislators in state government and noted Tedisco’s success in being able to “break through with ideas that affect New Yorkers.”
Realizing that animal cruelty is a bridge crime and those who abuse animals often go on to hurt people, Tedisco was the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster’s Law to protect our pets by making animal cruelty a felony. In 2011, Tedisco again made history by creating the first-ever NYS Animal Advocacy Day to give voice to all members of our families.
Tedisco sponsored legislation that passed the legislature this session to save up to $50 million and help the environment by making our state go digital with its communications and reduce paper waste. He introduced the Used Resources Accountability Act, which the Governor named NYYSTORE, and now the state is doing what Tedisco proposed: recoup tax dollars by selling state vehicles, furniture and equipment on E-Bay and Craigslist.
As the author of the first property tax cap bill this decade, the Property Taxpayers Protection Act, Tedisco ushered in and helped pass the tax cap to finally put a lid on out of control property tax hikes.
In 2012, Tedisco introduced “Charlotte’s Law” to permanently terminate driver’s license privileges for serial drunk and dangerous drivers and get them off our roads forever. Tedisco then asked the Governor to implement the essence of his legislation administratively through the DMV via executive authority, which is what Governor Cuomo did in September 2012.
In 2009, Tedisco successfully rolled-back former Governor Paterson’s plan to force drivers to get unnecessary new DMV license plates.
As Chairman of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Missing Children, Tedisco helped pass non-custodial release legislation to protect children from being abducted. Tedisco led the charge to enact the civil confinement law to keep dangerous sex offenders off our streets. Following years of research, legislation and statewide public hearings on the subject, he authored a book in 1996 entitled, “Missing Children: A psychological approach to understanding the causes and consequences of stranger and non-stranger abduction of children.”
Tedisco graduated from Bishop Gibbons High School in 1968, received his B.A. in Psychology from Union College and earned a graduate degree in Special Education from the College of Saint Rose. While at Union College, he received numerous athletic awards for his talent on the basketball court, as well as other collegiate and civic awards for academics, character, community service and conduct.
From 1973-1982, Tedisco worked in the field of education, first as a guidance counselor, varsity basketball coach and athletic director at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady, then as a special education teacher, resource room instructor and varsity basketball coach at Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar. Tedisco entered public service in 1977 when, at the age of 27, he was elected the youngest Schenectady City Councilman at that time. He was re-elected by an overwhelming majority four years later.
In 1982, Tedisco won a four-way primary to be the candidate to succeed long-time Assemblyman Clark Wemple, who had retired. He then went on to win the General Election. As a Freshman Legislator, Tedisco was named Ranking Minority Member of the Children and Families Committee.
Tedisco is active in many civic organizations. He is a member of:
- the Sons of Italy, Schenectady Lodge 321;
- Principessa Elena Society in Saratoga Springs;
- Ballston Spa Elks Lodge No. 2619;
- Schenectady Rotary Club;
- Union College Alumni Association;
- Friends of the Schenectady Museum;
- the Center for HOPE in Ballston Spa; and
- serves as Honorary Chairman of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation.
In addition to receiving numerous community and civic awards and honors, including being named the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award winner, and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) 25th Anniversary Award, Tedisco was elected in 2002 as one of the first members of the Union College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Tedisco is a resident of Glenville where he lives with his wife Mary, son Andrew, and dogs Gracie and Guitta and cats Glinda and Elphaba.