ALBANY – Assemblywoman Judy Griffin (D-Rockville Centre) said the following after Assembly passage of bill A.9922-A, which she co-sponsored:
“It is particularly tragic that brave first responders and everyday citizens that ran to the World Trade Center in the minutes, hours, and days after the 9/11 terrorist attack – solely to rescue their fellow New Yorkers - have succumbed to illnesses caused by exposure to extremely harmful toxins. It is heartbreaking to see so many first responders throughout Long Island and all of New York State, who worked on ‘the pile’ day in and day out, too often suffer long and painful cancers and other illnesses, leaving behind loved ones to endure their loss.
While the CDC's World Trade Center Health Program has compiled a list of certified illnesses caused by this exposure and provides hard-fought, critical funding for medical treatment, our current state workers' compensation law does not require the New York State Workers' Compensation Board to accept the program's certifications. This has resulted in many otherwise valid claims being denied purely due to bureaucracy: that is both unjust and unacceptable.
I was proud to co-sponsor this bill from the Governmental Employees Committee Chair, Assemblyman Peter Abbate. A.9922-A will help first responders and recovery workers who became ill or passed away due to a certified 9/11 illness get the benefits they and their families truly deserve.
We can never forget 9/11, but that includes the heroes who rose to the occasion to help in the aftermath of this horrific event and the families they leave behind.”