By Gina Martinez
Months after the passing of former state Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing) his State Senate and Assembly colleagues are looking to pass a bill to provide the remainder of his salary to his family.
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Ozone Park) joined Senate colleagues to get a new bill passed that will provide Simanowitz’ widow, Jennifer, with the remainder of his annual legislative salary.
The 45-year-old Assemblyman died in September 2017 after battling an unknown illness. Simanowitz represented the 27th District, which covers College Point, Whitestone, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Electchester, Pomonok, Briarwood, Kew Gardens, and Richmond Hill since 2011. Prior to being elected to the state office, he served as the chief of staff to Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn for 15 years until her retirement.
He left behind his wife Jennifer, four children, his parents and his brothers Barry and Alan.
Addabbo, a close friend of the Assemblyman, said this bill will help aid his family following his unexpected death.
“We were all deeply saddened when Assemblyman Simanowitz died and our hearts went out to his wife and family,” he said. “I considered Mike a friend and a legislative colleague. I am glad the Legislature is taking action to lend a helping hand to Jennifer and their children. While nothing will ever bring back their beloved husband and father, this legislation will at least provide Mike’s family with some financial support.”
Similar bills have been approved in the past for families of legislators who have died while serving in office. The bill has also been approved by the state Assembly and will be sent to Gov.Andrew Cuomo for his consideration.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart