About Senator Looney
President Pro Tempore
Chair: Legislative Management
Vice Chair: Executive & Legislative Nominations
Martin Looney currently is in his thirteenth term having been elected to the State Senate in 1992. In January of 2015, Senator Looney was elected by the members of the State Senate to serve as President Pro Tempore, the highest-ranking legislator in the Connecticut General Assembly.
Prior to his election as Senate President, Senator Looney served 12 years as Senate Majority Leader. During his career he served six years as Senate Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee; Chairman of the Banks Committee; and one term as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.
In 2011 and 2012, Senator Looney helped craft and lead passage of two bipartisan Jobs Bills aimed at helping thousands of small and medium size businesses and manufacturers in hiring, buying, training and expanding. Additionally, the 2011 and 2012 Jobs Bills provide job-training support for post-9/11 combat veterans, as well as a marketing campaign that promotes Connecticut’s wealth of cultural, educational and tourist destinations and a business incentive program that encourages companies to move jobs from overseas back to Connecticut.
In the Senate, Senator Looney has a record of supporting progressive legislation—most notably an earned income tax credit for the working poor and increases to the minimum wage.
During his tenure as State Representative, Looney was appointed an Assistant Majority Leader and served as Chairman of the Planning and Development Committee, the Government Administration and Elections Committee and the Appropriations Judicial Subcommittee, and as Vice-chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
In 1987, Senator Looney was selected as Legislator of the Year by the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats and following his first House term in 1982 he was honored by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women for his successful work as sponsor of legislation to provide tax credit incentives to employers who create on-site day care for the children of their employees. In 1993, the Connecticut Coalition Against Gun Violence honored Senator Looney for his efforts in helping to gain passage of Connecticut’s historic assault weapon ban.
Prior to his election to the General Assembly in 1980, Looney was a Public Information Aide to the Mayor of New Haven and taught English Literature and Composition as an adjunct faculty member at Quinnipiac University and the University of New Haven.
Senator Looney has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Fair Haven Community Health Center and of Community Mediation, Inc. He has also been a member of the Board of St. Rose of Lima School in New Haven and is a past parish trustee and past president of the Saint Rose Parish Council. In 1992, he was honored as the recipient of the National Catholic Elementary School Distinguished Graduate Award. In 1993, he was honored as an Alumni Knight of Honor by Notre Dame High School in West Haven.
Senator Looney is a graduate of Saint Rose School in New Haven, Notre Dame High School, and is a cum laude graduate of Fairfield University, where at commencement he was awarded Departmental Honors in English and Theology. He was selected as a National Woodrow Wilson Fellow for graduate study and earned a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Connecticut.
He received his J.D. Degree in 1985 from the University of Connecticut School of Law and, since his admission to the Connecticut Bar in 1985, he has been engaged in the general practice of law. He is a partner in the law firm of Keyes & Looney. He is also a practitioner in residence with the Criminal Justice Program in the Department of Public Safety at the University of New Haven in West Haven and is an adjunct faculty member in the Political Science Department at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.
Senator Looney resides at 132 Fort Hale Road in New Haven with his wife, Ellen. Their son, Michael, an urban planner, is a 1998 graduate of Yale College who also holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Senator Looney is the proud grandfather of Matthew and Anna Katherine.