William J. Larkin, Jr.
William J. Larkin, Jr., R-C, is now in his 30th year in the New York State Legislature, having served in the Assembly from 1979-1990. He was first elected to the New York State Senate in November 1990, defeating the incumbent by a wide margin. His Senate district includes in Orange County, the city of Newburgh and the Towns of Blooming Grove, Chester, Cornwall, Crawford, Goshen, Hamptonburgh, Highlands, Monroe, Montgomery, New Windsor, Newburgh, Wallkill and Woodbury; in Ulster County, the city of Kingston and the Towns of Plattekill, Marlborough, Lloyd and Esopus.
In 1995, Senator Larkin was appointed to the Senate leadership position of Chairman of the Senate Majority Steering Committee, and in 2007, he was appointed Secretary of the Majority Conference. He also served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering. Previously, Senator Larkin served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Governments, a post he held from 1993 to 1995. As Chairman, Senator Larkin authored a new law to change the operations and procedures of local Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs). The law increased the public accountability of IDAs while giving IDAs more flexibility to create jobs.
During his first term in the Senate, Senator Larkin chaired the Senate Veterans Committee. As chairman, he sponsored the most sweeping changes in veterans’ benefits laws in 30 years. The new laws increased the financial protections for families of U.S. servicemen fighting in the Persian Gulf War, as well as conflicts in Lebanon, Panama and Grenada. While in the Assembly, Senator Larkin served as Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore and was a member of the Banks, Health, and Insurance Committees. He also served on the Joint Legislative Tax Study Commission, the Subcommittee on Airport Development and the Subcommittee on Health and Medical Malpractice Insurance.
Widely recognized among his colleagues both in New York State and nationally for his vast knowledge and expertise about the insurance industry, Senator Larkin was elected in November 2001, as President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators and headed this group for one year. NCOIL is a bipartisan organization of state legislators from the fifty states whose primary area of public policy is insurance.
In December 2002, Senator Larkin was named one of the “100 Most Powerful People in the Insurance Industry–North America” in a special report by Insurance-Portal, a division of ACINA Technologies, Ltd. Insurance-Portal publishes “Insurance-Letter,” a newsletter read by over 43,000 subscribers in over 30 countries who work in the insurance industry.
A veteran of 23 years of active military service, Senator Larkin retired from the United States Army in 1967 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He served in many key positions, both in the United States and overseas, and saw combat during World War II in the Philippines operation, and during the Korean War. During his military service, Senator Larkin was the recipient of the Legion of Merit and six Army Commendation Medals, and was also awarded one Battle Star for the Philippines and six Battle Stars for the Korean War. He is the author of a publication entitled “Army’s Human Reliability Program” which was published in the Military Police Journal in 1966.
After his military service, Senator Larkin served as an Executive Assistant in the New York State Senate, and from 1976-1977 was Supervisor of the Town of New Windsor in Orange County, New York. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and an honorary member of the West Point Society of New York.
Senator Larkin is married to Patricia Kurucz McGuirk Larkin, and between them, they have eight children. A native of Troy, New York, Senator Larkin graduated from LaSalle Institute in Troy and also attended the University of Maryland and the University of Denver. Standing Committee Assignments 2009: Corporations, Authorities and Commissions (Ranking Minority Member); Finance; Health; Rules; Transportation; and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.