This week, Gov. George Pataki signed into law a measure that would make any injury or illness directly related to public service members’ response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including future manifestations, even after retirement, as presumptively eligible for the accidental disability category.
The PBA membership played a role in the Governor’s signature of this bill into law, as our members stood together and contacted the Governor’s office and urged him to support this legislation. The passage of this bill will help provide a sense of security to public service workers who spent 40 hours or more at Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Below is coverage of the bill-signing ceremony provided by NY1, a New York City-based cable news channel. Above are photographs taken from the ceremony, where PBA Legislative Director Gordon Warnock was on hand for the event.
Pataki Signs Law Granting Disability Pensions To Ground Zero Workers
June 15, 2005
First responders and rescue workers who rushed to Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks will now have better access to retirement benefits after Governor George Pataki signed legislation entitling some workers to disability pensions, which are higher than regular pensions.
Pataki announced the new law early Wednesday afternoon in Battery Park.
"None of us knew in the hours after the towers came down or in the weeks after the towers came down, what we were breathing at Ground Zero. It didn’t matter. Because what we were trying to do was breathe life back into the families who had lost their loved ones and into the spirit of the greatest city the world has ever seen," said Pataki.
The governor vetoed a similar bill two years ago, but the legislation was revamped to include workers who spent at least 40 hours at the World Trade Center site.