Senate Honors Billy Albanese With Achievers' Award

Martin J. Golden

May 23, 2006

Albany- State Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, 22nd District) today named Brooklyn’s Billy Albanese, for whom New York’s Billy’s Law is named, as a recipient of the New York Senate Achievers’ Award. The prestigious award recognizes an individual’s ability to overcome personal physical challenges and honors his accomplishments on behalf of his community.

"The Achievers’ Award is an honor that recognizes the triumph of individual’s over sometimes daunting physical challenges and is bestowed on those whose efforts serve as an example of courage, personal excellence and achivement for our entire community. I am so very proud to honor Billy Albanese, a young man, who is a hero to all of us."

Senator Marty Golden continued, "Billy Albanese endured some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. Billy was one of the 1,400 developmentally disabled New Yorkers who are placed in residential educational facilities out-of-state each when placements cannot be found within New York State. Unfortunately, Billy was one of the unlucky ones and was mistreated by those who were entrusted with his care. Rather than suffer in silence, Billy courageously told his father of his suffering and mistreatment. Through his courage, a struggle began that led, after fourteen years, to the enactment of "Billy's Law."

Under Billy's Law, there is strict supervision and monitoring of out-of-state placements. There will also be a web site where parents concerned about out-of-state placements. There will also be a web site where parents concerned about out-of-state placements can learn about these facilities. Also, allegations of abuse are to be investigated by New York State officials, parents are to be notified, and facilities will be required to adhere to New York standards or they will no longer be able to accept New York children into their programs.

Golden continued, "None of this was possible in the past. Billy's courage has made this possible. As Billy has often told his father, "Dad, I'm hoping Billy's Law will empower other parents to fight for their disabled child's special needs." To paraphrase on an old adage, Billy's Law means that children like Billy will no longer be out of state and out of mind. For that, Billy is our Senate achiever."

Billy Albanese was recognized in a special ceremony today at the State Capitol in Albany and presented with an Achievers’ Award and a Senate Proclamation.

The New York State Senate Achievers’ Awards are presented each year in conjunction with Senate Disability Awareness Day, an annual event sponsored by the Senate to raise public awareness of the efforts and accomplishments of citizens with physical disabilities.