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State Senator William Larkin Retiring
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State Senator William Larkin Retiring

Senator William J. Larkin, 90 years old, announced his retirement in early May. The Senator had served in Albany nearly 40 years. Senator Larkin was always a great supporter of occupational therapy. In the 1990s, Senator Larkin, a Republican, sponsored a bill for NYSOTA that amended multiple sections of the state insurance law. The bill added occupational therapy as a covered treatment in nearly every section of the insurance law. When the bill was met with resistance from all directions, Senator Larking stood by the bill and pushed for its passage in the Senate. Soon after, the Assembly followed along and passed the bill also. In December 2000, Governor Pataki signed the bill into law giving NYSOTA its first legislative victory since 1975.

Senator Larkin not only served in the New York State legislature for 39 years, first in the Assembly and later representing the Senate 39th district in the Hudson Valley, he also served in the armed forces.

As the Senate website states, "His life of service began at the age of 16 as a combat veteran of World War II, in New Guinea and in the Philippines operation. Later he served in combat in Korea and eventually served more than 23 years in the United States Army beginning as a private and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Senator Larkin had the honor of being appointed Army Project Officer for the visit of President John F. Kennedy during his trip to Germany in 1963 and later he guarded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. During his military service, Senator Larkin was the recipient of the Legion of Merit and seven Army Commendation Medals and was awarded one Battle Star for the Philippines and six Battle Stars for the Korean War."

Senator Larkin was greatly respected on both sides of the aisle. Senator John Flanagan, the Republican leader, wrote in a statement, "His words were so powerful, his opinion so well respected that his colleagues hung on every word. Every speech was a new opportunity to learn something new or become a better legislator yourself."

NYSOTA salutes Senator Larkin for his lifetime of service.

 

(photo credits: New York State Senate website)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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