Senator Jim Tedisco
James Nicholas Tedisco (R,C) was first elected to the New York State Senate on November 8, 2016. Tedisco represents the 44th Senate District which includes all of Saratoga County, Niskayuna and the City of Schenectady.
Senator Tedisco serves as Ranking Member of the Racing, Wagering and Gaming Committee and Ranking Member of the Education Committee, and as a member of the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee, Libraries Committee, Banks Committee and New York City Education Committee.
Prior to being elected to the state Senate, Tedisco served in the New York State Assembly from 1983-2016 and served as Minority Leader from 2005 to 2009. Throughout his career, Senator Tedisco has been a leader and outspoken advocate for reforming state government and the budget process and making government more accountable to the people.
The Associated Press, in a story on effective legislators in state government, noted Tedisco’s success in being able to “break through with ideas that affect New Yorkers” and the Daily Gazette said that Senator Tedisco is a “scrappy, effective state senator” and a “no-nonsense guy who sets out to do something and then gets it done. And if he doesn’t get it done, he keeps fighting.”
In 2021, Senator Tedisco authored and passed into law bipartisan legislation to enable state park rangers, police, and firefighters to carry EpiPens to help save lives when severe allergic reactions occur.
Senator Tedisco stopped former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s highway heist “Plate Gate” tax grab to force New Yorkers to pay up to $45 for new license plates they do not need.
As the author of the first property tax cap bill, 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. To date, the tax cap has saved residents in the 44th Senate District $1.39 billion.
In 2014, Tedisco sponsored and helped pass a constitutional amendment, Proposition 2, to save millions of tax dollars, make the legislature more efficient and stop the wasteful printing of paper that’s placed on legislators’ desk by enabling digital copies of bills to suffice.
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.
Senator Tedisco is a long-time advocate on issues related to missing persons and serves as emcee and legislative sponsor for the annual New York State Missing Persons Day with the Lyall Family and the Center for Hope. As Chair of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Missing Children, Tedisco authored and passed a landmark non-custodial release law to protect children from being abducted. Tedisco initiated a program to place the pictures of missing children on Thruway toll tickets, enabling New York to become the first state in the nation to use its transportation system to find missing persons. Following years of research, legislation and statewide public hearings, he authored a book 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, 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, Tedisco 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. He served as a special education teacher, guidance counselor, coach and athletic director for about ten years.
Tedisco is active in many civic organizations. He is a member of the Sons of Italy Schenectady Lodge 321, Ballston Spa Elks Lodge No. 2619, Schenectady Rotary Club, Union College Alumni Association, and the Center for HOPE in Ballston Spa.
In addition to receiving numerous community and civic awards and honors, including the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, 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 married to Mary Song Tedisco. They have a son Andrew, and two cats Glinda and Elphaba.