News from the
NYS Assembly Committee on
|Sheldon Silver, Speaker • Peter J. Abbate Jr., Chairman • Fall 2005|
Since becoming chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees in February of 2002, the passage of the World Trade Center Presumption Disability legislation has been a top priority of mine and the Governmental Employees Committee. In the four years since the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center we have realized that the effects of that day are ongoing. Many of the men and women who responded during our City, State and Country’s darkest hours are experiencing serious health problems directly related to the rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts. This law ensures that they will be protected for their efforts during such service.
Not only were the workers who participated in the rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts affected by this attack – our state economy was affected and members of our State’s National Guard and other members of our armed services have been called to action. Outlined in this newsletter is the plan to rebuild Lower Manhattan and the Patriot Plan III. For the many workers who will be helping rebuild Lower Manhattan and who work on other public works jobs, legislation has been passed to ensure that they are paid the prevailing wage. Additionally, working families will find it easier to meet family obligations under the “Families in the Workplace Act.”
I look forward to building on these achievements and tackling other important issues so that New York becomes a better and stronger state to live, work and raise a family. I would like to thank all the committee members and staff for their dedication and attention to the needs of our State’s public employees. Additionally, I must thank the public employee unions, their representatives and the many government officials whose input on legislation was and is invaluable.
If you have any questions or concerns about the issues or legislation before the committee, please do not hesitate to contact me.
World Trade Center Presumption Disability
A new law was signed to provide that any active member or retiree (who retired after 9/11/01) who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or clean-up efforts may be able to qualify (even if retired) to collect a disability benefit under one of several existing disability laws. Depending upon your job title, you may qualify for an ordinary disability, accidental disability or line of duty disability benefit.
To be eligible for this presumption, you must:
Participation in rescue, recovery or clean-up efforts include work at:
Supporting troops and their families
The newest protections signed into law to help soldiers and their families include:
Rebuilding Lower Manhattan = more jobs, long-term economic growth
Before session ended, the Legislature reached a major legislative agreement with the governor and the mayor to finally move forward on rebuilding lower Manhattan following the devastation of September 11, 2001.
The “Marshall Plan” for Lower Manhattan calls for:
In another agreement reached to rebuild Lower Manhattan, many jobs will be created as the Church Street corridor will be constructed and the planning of a rail link connecting Lower Manhattan to JFK Airport and the Long Island Rail Road will be started.
This agreement will promote faster economic growth and revitalize Lower Manhattan. These initiatives are important steps toward reinvigorating the Lower Manhattan economy and restoring downtown as the third largest business district in the country and its place as the financial capital of the world.
Health and safety for labor workers
The Assembly and Senate came together to pass bills that help improve the health and safety of labor workers while on the job. Legislation was passed that required written notification to workers on public works jobs of the prevailing wage rates that they are entitled to receive for their particular job classification.
Additionally, both houses also passed a bill that requires the disclosure of taxpayer payments to people working on a public project receiving government funds. This ensures the payment of the prevailing wage to persons employed on these projects.
Helping you meet your family obligations
Managing work and home is a part of everyday living. To help, Assembyman Abbate sponsored the “Families in the Workplace Act” which passed the Assembly and allows employees time off to help handle family responsibilities. The bill will permit limited unpaid leave for:
Employees who qualify for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act may also be eligible for paid disability leave.
|Assemblyman Abbate addresses many of the state employees who may benefit from the signing of the World Trade Center Presumption Law.|
NYS Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees
Room 839 LOB • Albany, New York 12248 • 518-455-3053
New York State Assembly
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