Where Long Island’s state senators stand on a critical LIRR expansion project

Long Island needs a third track.

The future of our region depends on making critical infrastructure investments. This project would support Long Island’s economic growth, its housing markets, and its ability to sustain and create jobs.

Although the construction will affect only 9.8 miles between Floral Park and Hicksville, it will improve the quality of life for all Long Islanders. Read our editorial about the state senators threatening to block the project.

Here’s where each of Long Island’s state senators stands on this critical project.

Senators who oppose the third track

  • Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) — Opposes
    “I have yet to get one letter or email that says we want the third track. What I have is an absolute flood saying how bad the transportation is . . . Ultimately East Side Access and the third track take a backseat to [what needs] the immediate attention.”
    Contact Sen. Hannon: 516-739-1700
  • Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) — Opposes
    “It is apparent to me based on my conversations with constituents at all levels that there is more to address.”
    Phillips wouldn’t specify what has to be addressed, and said local concerns outweigh the regional benefit.
    Contact Sen. Phillips: 516-746-5924

Senators who support the third track

  • Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) — Supports
    “There might be some short-term pain for some very big long-term gain . . . At the end of the day, the majority of the majority [the Republicans who support the project] need to put their position forward. I’m hopeful we can do that.”
    Contact Sen. Boyle: 631-665-2311
  • John Brooks (D-Seaford) — Supports
    “It has to be coupled with addressing all the other problems, but the merit of the additional track outweighs some of the inconvenience associated with it.”
    Contact Sen. Brooks: 516-882-0630
  • Tom Croci (R-Sayville) — Supports
    “This is by definition transformative . . . I’d be very interested to know how we are going to improve our rail service out into Suffolk County without a smart investment in this kind of infrastructure.”
    Contact Senator Croci: 631-360-3356
  • Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) — Supports
    “We have to be bold here.”
    Contact Sen. Kaminsky: 516-766-8383

Senators who take no position

  • Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson)
    “I believe that generically, we need to deal first and foremost with the Penn Station mess . . . And I’m not going to get involved in something that is in [Hannon’s and Phillip’s] Senate districts. Those two individual districts are impacted more and I would let them take the lead.” Contact Sen. LaValle: 631-473-1461
  • Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) — No position
    “I have not had a chance to really review everything about the third track . . . They should take a realistic look at what they could do with what they have instead of constantly coming up with some new and fancy thing . . . The short lines are being ignored, like the one on the North Shore. If they’d work on those lines . . . you’d take pressure off the Main Line.”
    Contact Sen. Marcellino: 516-922-1811

Senators who did not respond to requests for comment

  • John Flanagan (R-East Northport)
    Flanagan has not taken a public position on the project. On June 30th, Flanagan was prepared to direct his representative to veto the amended capital plan – a move that would have killed the third track funding. The MTA withdrew and resubmitted the plan before that could happen. Flanagan continues to negotiate with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, telling people he’s optimistic the project will move forward.
    Contact Sen. Flanagan: 631-361-2154