Honorary degree recipient at the 2015 University of New Haven Commencement Ceremony
Doctor of Laws
In 2014, State Senator Martin Looney was elected to serve his 12th term representing the people of New Haven, Hamden and North Haven. In January 2015, he was elected to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore, the highest-ranking legislator in the Connecticut General Assembly.
Prior to his election as Senate President, Looney served 12 years as Senate Majority Leader. During his career, he has served 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, Looney helped craft and lead the passage of two bipartisan jobs bills aimed at helping thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses and manufacturers that provided job-training support for post-9/11 combat veterans. The bills also created a business incentive program that encourages companies to move jobs from overseas back to Connecticut.
Prior to being elected to the Senate, Looney served as state representative from 1981-1993 for the 96th district in New Haven.
Senator Looney was the recipient of the Civil Justice Award from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association for his leadership and dedication in preserving the Connecticut Civil Justice System. He also 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 addition, the Connecticut Coalition Against Gun Violence honored Senator Looney for his efforts in helping to gain passage of Connecticut’s historic assault weapon ban.
Senator Looney earned a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University with department honors in English and theology. He was awarded a National Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Study at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a master’s degree in English. He received a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Senator Looney is a partner in the law firm of Keyes & Looney and has been a practitioner-in-residence in the criminal justice department at the University of New Haven since 1997.
A Connecticut native, Senator Looney lives in New Haven with his wife, Ellen. They have an adult son, Michael, and two grandchildren, Matthew and Anna.