Meet New Legislative MH Committee Chairs: Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Senator David Carlucci

NYAPRS Note: Yesterday, state legislative leaders announced the appointment of each house’s respective mental health committee chairs. The new Assembly Mental Health Committee chair is Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (Democrat representing parts of Orange-Sullivan counties), who has served on that committee over the past several years. The new Senate Mental Health Committee chair is Senator David Carlucci (Democrat representing part of Rockland County, who is one of four Senators who is part of the influential Senate Independent Democratic Conference.

NYAPRS welcomes them both and looks forward to working with them in the coming years!

Biography: Aileen Gunther was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2003 after the untimely death of her husband, Jake. Aileen spent most of her youth in Orange County. After marrying Jake, they decided to raise their three children in Sullivan County.

Aileen received her nursing degree, and spent many years working at Catskill Regional Medical Center. After working in various nursing units, she accepted the Infection Control position before moving on to become the Director of Performance Improvement and Risk Management.

Aileen is a fierce advocate for the people she represents. She fights for increased funding for our schools, fire departments, and access to health care for all New Yorkers. Aileen worked with Governor Cuomo to lower middle class taxes, close a $15 billion deficit, and to reduce state spending. In 2011, Aileen helped pass much needed ethics reform to restore public trust in state government.

For these reasons, Aileen was voted the best politician in the area by The River Reporter. Aileen continues to fight for her constituents, and will work to ensure that the Sullivan and Orange county area remains a great place to call home.


Biography: Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) was elected to represent the 38th State Senate District in November 2010 at the age of 29, making him the youngest sitting New York State Senator. Prior to serving in the Senate, David served as the Town Clerk for the Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County.

In just a short period, Senator Carlucci has distinguished himself as a key player in the state legislative process with a reputation of putting progress before partisanship.

Faced with the reality of a growing state budget gap, Senator Carlucci passed the Middle Class & Business Tax Cut and Job Creation Plan that cuts taxes for middle class families while bringing relief to small businesses affected by the job-killing MTA payroll tax. Part of this reform package includes changing the tax code to make it fairer and more progressive. It also includes $50 million in additional relief for Rockland and Orange Counties for businesses, farms and municipalities that were devastated by Hurricane Irene.

Recognizing that the MTA payroll tax is an onerous job-killing tax for the 38th Senate District, Senator Carlucci co-sponsored and passed a bill that would require a full forensic audit of the MTA and a bill that would eliminate the MTA payroll tax in 2014.

Understanding that New Yorkers are being taxed out of their homes, Senator Carlucci passed the first of its kind Property Tax Cap in New York State so that residents will have the opportunity to stabilize their taxes. At the same time, Senator Carlucci understands that school districts and local governments must have the tools they need to operate under the cap and has introduced a package of mandate relief legislation that will help school districts and municipalities reduce costs and maintain educational quality.

Senator Carlucci believes we must continue to focus on economic development and job creation in the district, as well as ensuring our veterans receive the services and respect they deserve. Senator Carlucci introduced the Hire a Vet Act, which will incentivize business owners to hire veterans by giving them a tax credit of $1,000 on their payroll tax per veteran they hire. Working to save both time and money by cutting red tape, his Cure Period Bill changes New York by allowing government and businesses to work together by providing small business owners with an opportunity to cure low-risk violations that do not pose an imminent threat to public health.

In his role as Co-Chair of the Administrative Regulations Review Commission, Senator Carlucci works tirelessly to find common sense solutions that will reduce state expenditures by updating antiquated policies.  He also serves on the following committees: Banks, Elections, Higher Education and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.

Senator David Carlucci, has been named a “Hero of Reform” and is committed to restoring the public’s faith in the State Legislature. He has demonstrated this commitment to reform by sponsoring legislation that would strip pensions from those who are convicted of crimes relating to abuse of their office.  He supported the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 which includes an ethics overhaul package that he proposed earlier this year including pension forfeiture. Other elements in the Reform Act include creating a strong watchdog over the Legislature that does not hinge on legislators sitting in judgment of each other, shining the light on legislators' outside activities by creating additional disclosure requirements on outside income and outside clients.

Prior to his tenure in the State Senate, his three terms in office as the Town Clerk of Clarkstown, David Carlucci advanced the technological infrastructure of Clarkstown by digitizing hundreds of thousands of records, improved accessibility to local government by staggering office hours, and creating a “mobile office” which brought town clerk services directly to the citizens. Carlucci served as Records Management Officer for Clarkstown and was elected to chair the Regional Advisory Committee for the New York State Archives in 2008.

Throughout his tenure as Town Clerk, constituent relations was a top priority and remains so in his capacity as State Senator, holding regular mobile office hours to give constituents an opportunity to speak with him about issues important to them.

David Carlucci was born and raised in Rockland County, graduating from Clarkstown High School North and Rockland Community College, where he was Student Representative to the college's Board of Trustees. He later received a Leadership Scholarship to attend Cornell University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Labor Relations.

David is married to the former Lauren Grossberg where they reside in Clarkstown, NY.