Statement By Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith And Conference Leader John L. Sampson On The Passing Of Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Malcolm A. Smith

August 26, 2009

“Last night, America lost a true patriot and dedicated public servant. Throughout his storied career in the U.S. Senate, which spanned nearly half a century, Ted Kennedy epitomized the courage, unwavering resolve and commitment to justice that is the hallmark of our nation.

“As an early champion of healthcare reform, it was Senator Kennedy’s work and perseverance that brought us to where we are today- on the verge of sweeping reforms that will expand access to affordable healthcare coverage for everyone. From fighting for an increase to the federal minimum wage law to authoring the federal COBRA healthcare law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Ted Kennedy’s legacy will live on through the millions whose lives he touched.

“More than his legacy as a great legislator, Ted Kennedy represented the greater ideals of fairness that have made our country a beacon of hope the world over. In arguably his most famous speech, Ted Kennedy said, ‘For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.’ That is how Ted Kennedy will be remembered; as a person who lived to make other people’s tomorrow better than today.”