New York State Senate Majority Leader Addresses Affordability, Bipartisan Relationships at Crain's New York Business Breakfast, Sponsored by Berkeley College

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John J. Flanagan, Majority Leader for the New York State Senate, said he is focused on improving New York City in three major areas – affordability, opportunity and security – during the Crain’s New York Business Breakfast Forum, sponsored by Berkeley College on January 25, 2018.

“New York City is the economic engine that powers the state,” Senator Flanagan said, voicing his support for a property tax cap. “I think about working people – can they afford that? I think it’s important that we remember our taxpayers.”

Senator Flanagan also spoke about bipartisan relationships, giving credit to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for raising issues, but also criticizing the governor’s overreach through executive orders. “But just because we disagree, does not mean we won’t have discussions,” he said.

Responding to questions from Erik Engquist, Assistant Managing Editor, Crain’s New York Business, and Ken Lovett, Albany Bureau Chief, New York Daily News, Senator Flanagan also spoke about his hesitation to lift limits on the size of residential buildings, corruption in politics, and the shortcomings of the plastic bag fee.

“I care about the environment as much as anyone in this room, but not one nickel goes to the environment,” he said of the plastic bag fee. “The retailer keeps the money.”

Among the 250 attendees from the New York business community were students from Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan, who had an opportunity to speak with Senator Flanagan before his remarks.

“Hearing Senator Flanagan speak so frankly about real problems that affect real people and offer solutions that would benefit the majority of his constituents, is in my opinion what our democracy should be all about,” said Rachel Anthony, who is pursuing a BBA in Business Administration – Management at Berkeley College. “It was truly an honor to speak with him and discuss my personal goals to work in the United Nations.”

“The Speaker can relate to the struggles of being a New Yorker and understands the concerns of business owners,” said Adam Karriem, who is pursuing a BBA in General Business at Berkeley College. “This event opened my eyes to the fact that the government recognizes issues that matter deeply and need resolution.”

“Events like the Crain’s Business Breakfast Forums give our students opportunities to meet prominent leaders in government and industry, and to lend their voices to issues that matter locally and statewide,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College.

Berkeley College

Photo Captions: (Top, L to R) John J. Flanagan, Majority Leader, New York State Senate, responds to questions from Erik Engquist, Assistant Managing Editor, Crain’s New York Business, and Ken Lovett, Albany Bureau Chief, New York Daily News, during the Crain’s New York Business Breakfast Forum, sponsored by Berkeley College on January 25, 2018. (Above, L to R) Senator Flanagan meets Rachel Anthony and Adam Karriem, student leaders from Berkeley College, during the event.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,100 students – including more than 440 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.


Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For five consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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