By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 13- In a Democratic Primary today, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto is expected to be an easy victor, setting the stage for him to win a fifth two-year term as Co-op City's Assemblyman.
Assemblyman Benedetto, who was first elected to the State Legislature in 2004, represents Co-op City, Throggs Neck, Pelham Bay, and Country Club. Interviewed this week, he pointed with pride to his record of accomplishments as an advocate for youths and senior citizens. Benedetto, this time around, faced token opposition from Egidio Sementelli in the Sept. 13 Democratic Party Primary.
Benedetto said that over the years, he has fought to keep senior-citizen center open and to keep public high schools in his district open as well.
The local lawmaker has also helped to lead a legislative fight aimed at reinstating a commuter tax that had provided major funding for the MTA until legislators, years ago, repealed it.
“We need to accept responsibility for finding funding sources for the MTA so that people in communities won't have to live with onerous bus-service cuts,” Benedetto emphasized. “It is our responsibility, as state legislators, to provide adequate levels of funding for the MTA.”
The local lawmaker added that he has joined the Riverbay board's effort to change state law so that Co-op City's Public Safety Officers, upon the completion of training here, would automatically obtain peace-officer status.
“I have also joined the effort to get relief for Co-op City from an absurd, unneeded asbestos-abatement requirement that is costing million of dollars per year,” Benedetto noted.
Over the years, Benedetto has also spearheaded a college-scholarship initiative for youngsters in the local community.
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