The Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award is presented semi-annually to a leader who has worked to preserve and build public trust in the institution of the state legislature and whose career embodies the highest principles of leadership. The award is presented jointly by the NCSL and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF).
"Being Speaker is a profound privilege and unquestionably, it is the very best job I could have and will ever have. I am proud to be a state legislative leader. I am grateful and flattered that my work should be so acknowledged by my peers," said Silver.
"It's an honor to be presenting this prestigious award to such a worthy recipient," said William T. Pound, executive director of the NCSL. "Since 1994, Speaker Silver has led the New York Assembly with great distinction. His leadership has been invaluable to New York, especially during the aftermath of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center, which occurred in his assembly district, and the political upheaval following the resignation of a governor. It is also a testament to Speaker Silver that he is widely respected by legislative colleagues on both sides of the aisle."
More than 1,200 state legislators and staff from across the nation gathered at the conference in Chicago, which features policy sessions on a range of issues, including criminal justice, elections, voter ID, deficit reduction, education, ethics, and regulatory reform.
The Excellence in State Legislative Leadership Award was founded in 1996. NCSL and SLLF first honored William M. Bulger, former president of the Massachusetts Senate, for his distinguished career in public service and particularly for his commitment to protecting and strengthening the institution of the state legislature. The winner is selected by an independent, nonpartisan selection committee of legislators, former legislators, scholars, and representatives of the two sponsoring organizations.
"I thank the residents of Lower Manhattan for allowing me, for the last 35 years, to represent and to serve them in the People's House of the New York State Legislature," said Silver. "I owe a similar debt of gratitude to my colleagues in the Assembly's Democratic Conference - leaders past and present - who have seen fit to elect and re-elect me as Speaker of the Assembly since 1994."
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.