Ray Meier’s unique combination of private sector and government experience makes him the candidate best equipped to immediately become an effective member of Congress, capable of solving problems and delivering results for the people of the 24th district.
A 10 year veteran of the State Senate, Meier has made a name for himself as an independent leader, fiscal conservative, and nationally recognized expert on Welfare and Medicaid Reform.
As a County Executive, Meier saw firsthand the effects unfunded mandates, such as skyrocketing Medicaid costs can have on a local government. This began his mission to reform the Welfare and Medicaid systems in New York State, a goal he still strives for.
As a practicing attorney, he has seen the effects laws have on people’s everyday lives.
In October of 2001 Senator Meier was appointed to the position of Co-chairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) Reauthorization Task Force. He testified before Congress on TANF Reauthorization in April of 2002, and served as an At-Large Member of NCSL’s Executive Committee.
In 2003, he was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno to serve as a Co-Chair of the Senate bipartisan Task Force on Medicaid Reform. The Task Force held roundtable discussions in every corner of the State for more than six months. These discussions resulted in the enactment of a cap on the local cost of the Medicaid program as part of the 2005-06 New York State budget, saving localities and taxpayers millions of dollars.
He authored a law requiring the Department of Health to apply for a Federal Medicaid waiver to create a pilot program to offer less costly, more appropriate care to Medicaid patients in need of long-term care.
In addition to his work in the areas of Welfare and Medicaid Reform, throughout his career, Meier has served as a leader in promoting economic development initiatives and job growth opportunities. In 1997, Senator Meier served on a joint Senate-Assembly Energy Conference Committee which developed the popular Power for Jobs program, an agreement to provide low-cost power to employers in New York State.
An avid supporter of tax relief, Senator Meier was a supporter of the STAR School Tax Relief program which became law in 1997, and was accelerated in 1998. Senator Meier sponsored the landmark “innocent spouse” law which took effect January 1, 1999, to protect honest citizens from liability for tax bills incurred by an unscrupulous spouse.
As a freshman in the Senate, Senator Meier served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs. In this capacity he passed legislation giving Veterans groups more freedom to spend the money they raise, and sponsored a 1997 constitutional amendment to give active duty military personnel veterans’ credits on civil service exams. The amendment was approved by voters in a statewide referendum. He also played an essential role in the passage of the veteran’s buyback bill which permits public employees to obtain up to three years of service credit in the public retirement system for their military service during periods of conflict. This legislation is Chapter 548 of the Laws of 2000.
A widely respected member of the Republican party, Meier was chosen as one of only two Republicans in New York State to serve on the Platform Committee for the Republican National Convention in 2004.
Meier was Oneida County Executive from 1991 to 1996, during which time he proposed six straight balanced budgets, eliminating a $9 million deficit and building a $13 million fund balance.
Meier was an Oneida County Legislator from 1986 to 1991; Corporation Counsel for the City of Rome from 1980 to 1983; legislative counsel to his political mentor, the late Senator James H. Donovan, from 1978 to 1980; and Deputy Onondaga County Attorney from 1977 to 1978.
Meier is of counsel with the Utica law firm of Saunders, Kahler, Amoroso, and Locke. He was a partner in the Rome law firm of McMahon and Grow from 1985 to 1991, and an associate in the law offices of Paul A. Worlock from 1977 to 1983.
Meier was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1974 and served until 1985.
Meier holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of Rome Free Academy. He was born October 23, 1952, in Rome, the son of Alfred and Irene Meier.
Senator Meier is married to Kimberly Davis Meier. They reside in the town of Western. They have two children.