Legislation Extends Task Force for an Additional Five Years
(Queens, N.Y.) With the ninth anniversary of the WTC terrorist attacks to be commemorated later this week, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., a member of the Senate’s Committee on Civil Service and Pensions, reports that Governor David Paterson has signed a bill out of that committee sponsored by Senator Diane J. Savino (S7456), improving the September 11th Workers’ Protection Task Force, allowing the Task Force to continue to provide vital assistance to the thousands of heroes of the September 11 tragedy.
Included in the legislation are measures to extend the task force for another five years, from 6/10/2010 to 6/10/2015 and to expand the composition of the Task Force to 20 members, including the medical director of the Mount Sinai Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The September 11th Workers’ Protection Task Force has played a central role in identifying additional issues that have arisen from the rescue, recovery and clean-up of the former World Trade Center site. While significant progress has been made, the work of the Task Force is not complete.
This legislation will allow the Task Force to continue to monitor the situation and provide support to the brave men and women of September 11th, ensuring these individuals receive the most efficient medical treatment and continued support.
Senator Diane J. Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) said, “The Task Force has done very valuable work over the past five years, addressing the immediate impact on the workers who responded to the WTC attack, but it is clear that the work is not done. Now, we are starting to see the long-term adverse effects of the exposure that many heroic first responders are now presented with. This is why the work of the Task Force needs to continue.”
Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn/Manhattan) adds, “The September 11th Workers’ Protection Task Force has played a critical role in our city’s recovery efforts by adding the Mount Sinai Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine to the Task Force. By extending it for five years, we can ensure that rescue and recovery workers who risked their lives for our community continue to receive the proper medical care and support they deserve. I thank Senator Savino for working so hard to push this bill through the Senate.”
Senator Addabbo (D-Queens) concluded, “Paying for medical benefits and compensating workers insured in the course of the rescue and clean-up is something our government should do. The federal government has promised to pay for some of the cost, and now New York State is stepping up to the plate for them in this difficult financial time to give our 9/11 workers an extension of the Task Force that will help with the remainder of the financial burden regarding their medical treatment and continued support.”