17. Dean Skelos | The Long Island Press Power List

17. Dean Skelos

New York State Senate Republican Leader (R-Rockville Centre)

Dean Skelos is now serving in his 15th term in the New York State Senate as the Republican leader and co-leader of the state’s first-ever bipartisan governing coalition. Skelos holds an abundance of power in the Senate, and his amicable relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo has fostered a productive environment that has eluded Albany for years. Skelos was crucial in the governor’s quest to pass same-sex marriage in 2011 and in producing early state budgets two years in a row—yet the Republican leader made a name for himself long before Cuomo arrived in Albany. Skelos stood up for suburban residents when he wrote the law eradicating the widely unpopular “commuter tax” and authored Megan’s Law, which established a sex offender registry in the state.