Speech by New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane on the Floor of the New York State Senate Regarding Leandrafs Law (S66008)

gLeandrafs death, horrible and tragic, did something else: it brought out the best in us, in government.

Ifd like to thank Leandrafs dad Lenny for allowing us and pushing us to use this tragedy as a way to make something better going forward and to provide prevention going forward and make it so that perhaps we will be saving lives.

It is really sad to think that a child really has no control over their destiny in a case like this and their only choice is to trust a parent or adult in their lives and when we let them down it is a terrible, terrible thing that we do.

I think that something Ifve been very supportive and passionate about is the policy of using interlock devices. This is very, very important and Ifve never seen a downside to it and Ifm glad that wefll be mandating the use of interlock devices.

The death of someone because of substance abuse, it affects entire families and in this case entire communities. In the tragic death of Leandra, my community is continuing to mourn her death. Alcoholism, substance abuse, it kills people. It ruins families, it ruins lives, it ruins communities. We passed a great piece of legislation here, Timothyfs law, we have to finish our work, make sure that substance abuse is covered as well.

We have to make sure that when a problem of substance abuse is identified, not just for the person who may be the addicted one, but because of its impact on the entire family, that help is there, that help is paid for, that help is covered. Thatfs the other side of prevention. We, of course, have to punish people that do terrible things no matter what the reasons are that they did it. People need to be made responsible for their actions. When someone is ready to admit that they have a problem or when a family is ready to deal with someone in that family we also have to be ready for the help that they need.

This is a great thing that we did today and we get to mark it today and tomorrow we have to redouble our efforts to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.h

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