ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures is awarding its top state leadership award to New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Silver was elected to the Assembly in 1976 and has been the powerful speaker since 1994.
The William M. Bulger Excellence in State Leadership Award will be presented to the lower Manhattan Democrat in Chicago.
The NCSL says Silver was chosen for his leadership, especially since the 2001 terrorist attacks that hit his home district.
Silver was praised by Assembly Republican leader Brian Kolb as a skillful consensus builder, even though Kolb and Silver often disagree.
Silver was chosen by an independent, nonpartisan selection committee of legislators, former legislators, and scholars.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)