For Immediate Release: August 14, 2006
Statement from Steve Cassidy On WTC Death Benefits Bill
I would like to thank the Governor, Speaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno for their support of this important legislation.
The Accidental Death Benefits bill (A11225) would grant line-of-duty death benefits to firefighters and other first responders who die as a result of ailments they developed from their 9/11-related work, even if already retired at time of death. The bill would officially recognize that the deaths of these workers were directly related to their efforts at the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort.
This measure does not only make good sense, but it is good public policy, as it send a message to future emergency responders that if they die or become disabled and succumb to injuries as result of the war on terror, that their children and families will be protected.
Tragedy has already struck us as to-date, three New York City Firefighters have lost their lives as result of 9-11 illnesses (FF Stephen Johnson, FF Walter Voight, FF Joseph Costello).
Despite pressure from City Hall, Governor Pataki stuck to his principles and supported the protection of New York State's first responders and their survivors.