N.Y. Assemblyman Grannis in Line to Be State Environmental Commissioner

January 25, 2007

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has nominated long-time insurance legislative leader Alexander B. “Pete” Grannis to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Grannis was first elected to the Assembly in 1974 and represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. He is well known in insurance circles, having served as chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee since 1992 and as a member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

As chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee, he has authored various insurance measures, including the community rating and open enrollment law that changed the way small group and individual health insurance policies are sold in the state.

Grannis has written protection laws for people in managed care plans. His 1996 Managed Care Consumer Protection Act set out a range of new provisions to improve disclosure to consumers, regulate utilization review activities, outlaw so-called gag provisions on providers, establish due process standards for credentialing and termination of health care providers and enhance access to specialty care.

His other insurance legislation includes a law requiring life insurance companies to report annually on the socially responsive investments and charitable contributions they make in New York, and measures to ensure the availability of homeowners’ insurance in coastal areas. As co-chair of the Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Auto Insurance, he has championed reforms designed to bring down New York’s high automobile insurance rates.

He is a member of the Assembly Task Force on Workers’ Compensation.

Grannis has also been active in environmental legislation, having fought for passage of SEQRA, the original bottle bill, and the clean-up and revitalization of the state’s brownfields. He has also played a key role in the enactment of a range of environmental legislation, including measures related to acid rain, clean air and water, fluorocarbons and recycling. He chaired the Assembly’s first Subcommittee on Toxic Wastes, sponsored legislation ensuring a worker’s right to know about hazardous materials in the work place and has worked to regulate the transport, storage and disposal of toxic wastes. He authored the state’s rapid transit noise code and has been at the forefront of the fight to have the MTA convert its polluting diesel bus fleet to clean fuels.

Source: N.Y. Governor’s Office

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