As chairman of the State Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, Sen. Phil Boyle probably logged more travel miles in this year's legislative session than any of his Long Island brethren in the Senate.
The Bay Shore Republican trekked all over New York, gathering evidence on the state's heroin scourge. The effort paid off when nearly a dozen anti-heroin bills were passed, including tougher penalties for distribution and a requirement that insurance companies better cover substance-abuse treatment. The measures should strengthen the fight against addiction -- especially on Long Island, where heroin use has exploded.
That said, voters deserve spirited elections; unfortunately, Suffolk County Democrats opted for token opposition. John Alberts, 30 of North Babylon, a senior clerk at the Suffolk County Board of Elections, is not campaigning.
Boyle, 53, is an old hand at legislating: He served in the Assembly from 1994-2002 and 2006-12. Elected to the Senate in 2012, he has developed a reputation as a sensible fiscal conservative with a strong environmental record.
In the next session, Boyle would like to strike a compromise on the water-quality bill that died in the Senate (he thinks it went too far). He said he has "good relationships" with environmentalists and builders. Those relationships, his record and legislative stamina could make the difference.
Newsday endorses Boyle.