New York State Assembly, 8th District

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Michael J. Fitzpatrick
Republican

Background: Michael J. Fitzpatrick, 61, of St. James, is seeking his ninth term in office. He also is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at St. Michael's College, and was an investment associate with Morgan Stanley in Port Jefferson until 2016. Fitzpatrick served on the Smithtown Board from 1988 to 2002. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and secretary for the New York chapter of the American-Irish Legislators Society. He is married with two adult children.

Issues: Fitzpatrick said taxes are the top issue for just about everyone so he supports a mandate relief bill as a way to slow increases. "We are losing young people after college and losing retirees and their disposable income. We are an island of small businesses because large businesses have left due to the tax burdens," he said. The pension system is unsustainable and the economy isn't growing enough — the state has to slow the rate of tax growth so the tax base can catch up. He wants a 2 percent hard cap on binding arbitration awards and would put new hires who are not police and fire workers in a defined contribution platform, then tweak the state's Triborough Amendment that maintains salary and benefits when there isn't a contract to suspend automatic step increases during the time when there is no contract. "It's OK to say no to the unions," Fitzpatrick said. "You need a better balance between what they want and what taxpayers can afford."

David J. Morrissey 
Democratic

Background: David. J. Morrissey, 62, of Smithtown, a Democrat, is making his first bid for office. He is a software engineer and certified project management professional. Morrissey earned a data processing degree at Suffolk County Community College, a bachelor's in liberal studies from Stony Brook University and an MBA from SUNY Empire State College. He is active in the recovery community. Morrissey is married and has one son.

Issues: Morrissey is concerned with the lack of medically assisted treatments, support and treatment beds for those getting help for drug addiction. He would work to get policy that leads to sufficient services to help stop what he called the revolving door of treatment that drains insurance funds, and he would advocate with insurance companies to make available treatment on demand. "Insurers should not be able to limit treatments. We should have the number of beds needed," he said. Two years ago, Morrissey said he lost his son William, 30, to complications of heroin and cocaine drug use, and he has been in recovery himself since 1980.  More quality treatment centers are needed, he said, along with recovery services, addiction counselors and education for workers on evidence-based treatment and prevention techniques, as well as increasing the use of drug courts instead of jail to help cut down on the incarceration rate. "You can't ignore substance abuse," he said. "The cost to Long Island, the burden of addiction on the community, is about $3,000 per person." Beyond addiction issues, Morrissey said he would advocate for increased bus service, and he also would focus on getting the Kings Park sewage treatment plant operational. "That's a priority issue, to protect the aquifer."

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