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Mike Fitzpatrick

New York State Sen. Mario Mattera speaks out against the state’s ban on gas-powered stoves, furnaces and propane heating during a rally in Hauppauge Wednesday, Oct. 18. Photo by Raymond Janis

New York State’s ban on natural gas is coming under fire.

Dozens of public officials, union workers and policy advocates rallied outside the Perry B. Duryea Jr. State Office Building in Hauppauge Wednesday morning, Oct. 18, protesting the state’s recent ban on natural gas, slated to take effect on Dec. 31, 2025.

News Flash:

Generated by ChatGPT, edited by our staff

  • Protest against New York State’s natural gas ban: Public officials, union workers and policy advocates rally against New York State’s ban on natural gas, expressing concerns about its impact on jobs, energy prices and the economy.
  • Legal challenge to the ban: Plaintiffs in the Mulhern Gas Co. v. Rodriguez lawsuit argue that the ban violates federal law, specifically the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
  • Calls for realistic energy approaches: Opponents of the natural gas ban advocate for a balanced and diversified energy portfolio, highlighting the challenges of transitioning to an all-electric system.

During the rally, attendees chanted, “We need a plan, not a ban.”

This natural gas provision was included in this year’s fiscal year budget, passed by the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in May.

The law bans gas-powered stoves, furnaces and propane heating, encouraging using climate-friendly appliances such as heat pumps and induction stoves in new residential buildings. It also requires all-electric heating and cooking in new buildings shorter than seven stories by 2026 and for taller buildings by 2029.

New York State Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James), ranking member on the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, offered several objections to the natural gas ban, fearing the measure would trigger layoffs and hiring freezes, spike energy prices and exacerbate the region’s unaffordability crisis and overtaxed electrical grid.

“We know that this is going to hurt not just our homeowners but our economy,” Mattera said. “We are here today to say stop with this unrealistic ban and come together to create a realistic plan.”

Those gathered Wednesday strongly supported the plaintiffs in Mulhern Gas Co. v. Rodriguez, who seek to invalidate the ban on the legal grounds that the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act preempts the state law.

“New York State’s law violates the United States Constitution,” said Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer (D), who is also affiliated with the Plumbing Contractors Association of Long Island, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “This law that was passed and signed is unconstitutional. So that means it’s an opportunity to go back to the drawing board.”

New York State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Smithtown) endorsed a more diversified energy portfolio for Long Island to meet the demands of today’s modern economy. While he expressed support for promoting alternative energy sources, he suggested these alternatives are still not yet economically viable to stand alone.

“Consumers are not ready for what the radical environmentalists have planned for us,” the assemblyman said. “People want to turn on the electricity or turn on that gas and cook a nice meal for their families. They can’t do it all-electric.”

State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury) said Long Island’s electrical grid cannot handle an electric-only transition. He noted the potential dangers of an electric-only energy economy, pointing to frequent outages due to downed trees and storms. “If we don’t have an alternate means of powering our homes, people are going to get hurt,” he warned.

Union leaders from across industries spoke out in opposition to the natural gas ban. Richard Brooks, business manager for Plumbers Local 200, referred to natural gas as “an essential transitional fuel that will help our nation as we move to greener energy sources.”

“New York’s natural gas ban will unnecessarily hurt New York workers by removing our members’ jobs at a time when we are already leading the nation in the expansion of alternative energy for New York residents,” he added.

To view a recording of the entire rally, visit www.facebook.com/senatormariomattera.

Mike Fitzpatrick. Photo by Kyle Barr

While the TBR News Media staff fully believes in Democratic candidate Dave Morrissey’s genuine desire to tackle the ongoing opioid crisis, incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Smithtown) gets our endorsement for the 8th District seat.

Although Morrissey has a number of good and far-reaching ideas to help those in the throes of addiction, the question of how the state will be able to enact those changes remains up in the air. While the goals of increasing access to medically assisted treatment and addiction shelters is something to strive for, the Democraticchallenger also lacks concrete ideas of what the state government should do when it comes to high taxes and keeping people on Long Island.

Fitzpatrick is right on the money when it comes to government employee benefits as those are changes that must be strived for if the state wishes to cut down on spending. While the Kings Park sewers have been held up by partisan wrangling, we do appreciate the assemblyman championing the effort in Albany.

Our endorsement comes with a caveat: During the TBR News Media debate the assemblyman startled us with his belief that the thousands of people currently heading to the U.S. in a caravan from Honduras are, in some way, funded by billionaire George Soros, who often funds left-leaning political campaigns and is a consistent target in conspiracy theories by far-right groups.

We strongly encourage Fitzpatrick — whom we have always thought of as sensible — not to believe this and other far-right wing narratives without unassailable proof, and he should continue to focus on championing real changes in state policy to benefit his constituents instead, as he always has.

Incumbent state Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick will be challenged by Democrat Dave Morrissey at the polls. Photos by Kyle Barr

The two candidates running for New York’s 8th Assembly District, incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Smithtown) and Democratic challenger Dave Morrissey, agree on the area’s problems of high taxes and shrinking youth population. However, they disagree heavily on how the state should work to change it.

Fitzpatrick and Morrissey stepped into the TBR News Media offices where they discussed their varying stances on state and local issues.

Fitzpatrick is running again for his long-held seat on a number of fiscal issues, including
taxes, young people leaving Long Island and cutting back on government employee’s benefits.

“Unfortunately, when you look at the numbers, we continue to be a state in decline. We’re losing 100,000 people a year,” he said.

Morrissey, a local software engineer and project manager from Smithtown, is running heavily on reforming New York’s response to the opioid crisis. This comes after a personal tragedy where Morrissey’s son William died of complications due to opioid addiction in 2016.

“He wasn’t one of the statistics because he didn’t die over an overdose death, and there are many more deaths than most often reported because of this,” the Democratic challenger said. “All levels of government need to do more.”

Taxes/Cost of Living

Fitzpatrick sees a need to deal with union contracts and government employee pension programs, which he said is sapping the strength out of the economy. The assemblyman has campaigned to change automatic pay increases while employers and employees are in between labor contracts as well as pushing for a transition from pensions for 401(k)s for government employees.

“The tax burden is too high,” the assemblyman said. “You have to get every elected official out of the defined benefit retention system. That particular benefit and how we are compensated encourages fiscal irresponsibility.”

The Democratic challenger said that while his campaign has received union support, he would still push for school consolidation of resources. He opined best way to affect the school district’s taxes was to expand Long Island’s commuter infrastructure to appeal to young people and, hopefully, encourage new business growth.

“We need to have smart strategic investments that will have a real cost benefit,” Morrissey said. “If the only thing you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail, and you can’t cut your way into prosperity.”

Health care/Opioid crisis

On the opioid treatment and health care, the challenger said there needs to be much more done on the state level. He supports medically assisted treatment for all drug or alcohol users who need it, opening up an addiction high school through the BOCES system, and opening up at least 11 more recovery centers, for which he suggests the state should get pharmaceutical companies to pay.

The incumbent said he feels it would be near impossible to get the pharmaceutical companies to pay for these programs, while agreeing it would help, he said funding from state government is never guaranteed.

Morrissey said he also believes in health care for all and supports the New York Health Act, which passed through the state Assembly but did not reach the floor of the state Senate. He said he would look to give the state more negotiatinpower with pharmaceutical companies.

“I think it’s a great system that needs improvements — something rolled out gradually,”
Morrissey said. “Big pharma has so much wealth, we should be able to negotiate on the process.”

Fitzpatrick said he disagrees with a health care for all program, and especially the New York Health Act. He would instead advocate for use of Health Savings Account programs, one where people can save money for health-related emergencies only.

“The system is not broken — it needs to be repaired and modified,” he said. “You want a system that attracts the best and the brightest doctors.”

Check out #TBRVotes on Twitter for our reporters’ on-the-ground and up-to-the-minute coverage of tonight’s election results.

National Election


United States Senate

Chuck Schumer (D) v Wendy Long (R)
      59.94%               38.26%

Following his victory, Sen. Chuck Schumer (R-NY) took to Twitter to express his reaction. “Humbled by the trust that my fellow New Yorkers have put in me to continue to do my job and represent them in the U.S. Senate. I promise to work every day to be deserving of your trust. I’ll never forget what it means that you gave me the honor of working for you.”

New York State Senate

1st District: Ken LaValle (R) v Gregory Fischer (D)
      67.18%               32.73%
2nd District: John Flanagan (R) v Peter Magistrale (D) v Stephen Ruth (I) 
     63.57%              32.46%

Congressional District

1st District: Lee Zeldin (R) v Anna Throne-Holst (D)
        56%                    39%
After incumbent U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was officially declared the victor, he said, “We applaud our opponent. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to represent the 1st congressional district.” He said while his victory is sweet, that New York is “powerful message.” He made reference to Donald Trump (R) being named president. If that were to happen, Zeldin said, “we are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. We’re going to make America great again.”
3rd District: Tom Suozzi (D) v Jack Martins (R)


          52%                        48%


4th District: Steve Englebright (D) v Steven Weissbard (R)
      58.91%               41.03%
After hearing of the incumbent’s win, Steven Weissbard (R) said, “If you want to win, you can’t be afraid to fight. He called his opponent a “goliath.”
8th District: Mike Fitzpatrick (R) v Rich Macellaro (D)
      69.81%               30.17%
10th District: Chad Lupinacci (R) v Ed Perez (D)
      58.24%              41.71%
12th District: Andrew Raia (R) v Spencer Rumsey (D)


      65.26%              34.70%

Highway Superintendent

Smithtown: Robert Murphy (R) v Justin Smiloff (D)
         69%                  30.96%

*All results are from the Suffolk County Board of Elections

Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick is the right choice for another term in the 8th Assembly District. File Photo
Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick is the right choice for another term in the 8th Assembly District. File Photo

When it comes to the 8th Assembly District, we believe incumbent Michael Fitzpatrick is the only choice.

Seeking his ninth term in office, Fitzpatrick has a clear understanding of what his constituents need and knows how to get it done. He has supported bills to curb the heroin problem facing thousands of North Shore residents, and for a two percent tax levy increase cap for school districts to limit spending. Fitzpatrick’s years of experience serving in the Assembly are also a plus for us, as he has the know how, and experience to create and pass new bills to help the district.

We appreciate Rich Macellaro dedicating his time to try and serve the public. When he sat down with us, his passion was clear, but we see Fitzpatrick as the stronger candidate.