2015-07-01 / Political Page

Thanks To Supreme Court Millions Keep Health Care

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) released the following statement last week, in reaction to the King v. Burwell US Supreme Court ruling, which upheld tax credits for those who have purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federal exchange.

Maloney’s statement reads: “After countless repeal votes and multiple legal challenges, the Affordable Care Act is still standing strong and helping millions of Americans afford health insurance. Today the court dealt a 6-3 blow to the right wing, providing yet again that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.

“Congressional Republicans have voted 60 times to destroy the Affordable Care Act. Each time they have failed. When they realized that strategy was doomed to fail, they made a desperate attempt for a judicial activist solution.

“As Chief Justice Roberts correctly pointed out, ‘Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.’ With this decision, millions of people can now rest easy knowing that the health insurance they gained through the Affordable Care Act will not be taken away from them. Maintaining affordable coverage is a key component to this legislation that helps Americans ensure their health and the well being of their families.”

MENG BILL OKS PUMPING BREASTMILK AT JOB-SITES: Legislation to improve a landmark provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows new mothers to pump breastmilk at their place of employment, has been introduced by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D–Flushing).

Under the Affordable Care Act, which was just upheld by the United States Supreme Court in a historic decision, Meng said employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a private space and break time to pump breastmilk for their babies until the child turns one. However, Meng explained, a hardship exemption allows employers with less than 50 employees the option to opt out of the law.

But her legislation, entitled the Fair Access for Moms Act would “fix the problem, she said, by applying the provision to employers with 15 or more employees.”

Meng noted, “Requiring accommodations for women who need to pump breastmilk while on the job was a significant victory in the ACA. It finally knocked down the barrier that working mothers faced when trying to provide breastmilk for their newborns. But exempting certain employers effectively excludes thousands of nursing mothers who would otherwise be covered. Making this slight change to the ACA is the right and fair thing to do so that breastfeeding is accessible to as many new moms as possible.”

Meng said the Fair Access for Moms Act would make rights for nursing mothers in the workplace apply to the same scope of employers as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other similar federal accommodation and anti-discrimination laws, as well as similar proposed legislation, such as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

Meng’s bill was introduced with 17 cosponsors, all Democrats, including Congressman Joseph Crowley, (D–Queens/Bronx).

In addition to her legislation, Meng’s cosponsor of the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act, which would require large and medium hub airports in the United States to provide a private spot in each terminal for new mothers to pump breast milk.

Meng also signed a letter this month asking Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell to ensure that women have access to breastfeeding equipment and lactation counseling. Under the ACA, insurance companies are required to cover breastfeeding support. But according to reports, Meng said, insurance companies have not been complying.

ADDABBO BILL IMPROVES KEEPING RECORD OF SANDY FUNDING: A bill sponsored by state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., which he says provides more oversight and information to the public about how the state spent Hurricane Sandy funds, has passed both Houses of the State Legislature and is now headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) stated: “Since Hurricane Sandy… three years ago, billions of dollars in federal aid have been earmarked for New York State to help individuals, businesses and municipalities recover and rebuild from the storm.

“Given the incredible importance of these recovery efforts to my constituents and others who were so profoundly affected by Hurricane Sandy, it is vital that we spend these funds in the most effective and appropriate ways. This legislation would help to ensure this goal.”

Under the bill, Addabbo explained, the New York State Division of the Budget (DOB) would be required to maintain and update a portion of its website to detail how Hurricane Sandy monies are being spent. The DOB would also prepare a quarterly report detailing the total amount of recovery monies received by the state, how and where it was distributed, its recipients, the number of related jobs created, whether the funding achieved its purpose, and other specifics.

“Given the sobering recent news that New York City has spent only 16 percent of the Hurricane Sandy-related funding it has received so far, I think we can all agree that greater transparency and accountability in the use of all Sandy funding is warranted,” Addabbo said. “There are a lot of complexities in how various funding streams are used, and how the actual assistance gets to affected homeowners and businesses, but we should all be provided with a better idea of how all Sandy dollars are used, on all levels of government.”

Summing up, and noting that he hopes Governor Cuomo will act expeditiously to sign the legislation into law, Addabbo said, “Every day, even as we continue to make progress in recovering and rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy we identify new challenges facing survivors and we need to find new ways to assist them. By carefully analyzing how every penny of federal recovery funds are disbursed and used, we can ensure that New York and all of its residents come back from this storm wiser, braver and more resilient than ever.”

MALONEY: ‘KEEP A NEW YORKER [HAMILTON] ON $10 BILL’: Amid all the talk from Washington about replacing Alexander Hamilton’s picture on the 10 dollar bill or possibly keeping Hamilton on it and have him share the space with a historic woman’s likeness, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has called upon Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, to keep Hamilton, because he was “one of our most important Founding Fathers and because he was a New Yorker.”

Maloney (Queens/Manhattan) added that if it is to be a woman,” …make sure that woman is also a New Yorker.”

Completing her message to Lew, Maloney wrote:

“A hundred years after women gained the right to vote, there is no excuse for women to be excluded from our money. I supported legislation to boot President Andrew Jackson from the 20, but the 10-dollar note was up for a redesign, so that has been chosen instead. Not since the late 1800s have we seen a woman on our paper money. And I agree with Secretary Lew that the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote is the right time for that to change.

“I also hope that as a fellow New Yorker, Secretary Lew understands that the ten has always been New York’s bill, and it ought to stay that way.”

SCHNEIDERMAN ALSO FAVORS HAMILTON ON $10 BILL: State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also come down on the side of keeping Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. He states; “There are few people who exemplify the ideals of opportunity, entreprenaurship and commitment to the collective good than the great New Yorker and the face of the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton.” Recalling Hamilton’s humble beginning… “born to a single mother in the West Indies, orphaned and virtually penniless when he immigrated to New York as a teenager in 1773,” he turned it around, became an aide to Washington “and one of the leading intellectual and moral voices of the fledgling nation.”

But, Schneiderman says, it is Hamilton’s “lasting impact on the American economy, the structure of our government, and his unique vision of social and economic progress that should keep him on the $10 bill.”

MENG HAILS MAYOR’S LUNAR NEW YEAR DECISION: Mayor de Blasio has decided to add the Lunar New Year as a school holiday for students of Asian families who celebrate the Lunar New Year. The mayor had pledged to do that during his 2013 election campaign, but had not gotten around to it, to the dismay of many families.

Fortunately for the latter, state legislators were all set to declare the Lunar New Year holiday, under a pending bill, so the mayor did it before them to avoid any embarrassment.

Among the Asian lawmakers from Queens pleased with the mayor’s decision was Congresswoman Grace Meng,

Meng had been among the first to introduce legislation several years ago when she was in the Assembly to close NY schools to celebrate the Lunar New Year. However, that never occurred, so she had urged the mayor to do it and was invited by the mayor to be there last Tuesday when he made the long-awaited announcement.

Meng declared after de Blasio had completed his announcement:

“It’s been a long road. But we finally made it. At long last, a school holiday for Lunar New Year will be a reality in New York City and I cannot be more excited.”

Meng recalled, “When I was growing up in Queens, I often felt that my ethnicity was ignored or forgotten about when it came to school holidays and she could see that other children and grown-ups felt the same way.

When she first sponsored the bill, there wasn’t much support for it and “people even laughed at it and said it would never happen. she even asked former Mayor Bloomberg to do it “but he said no.”

“And now,” she concluded, “here we are. I could not be prouder to have led the charge on it, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for moving forward with it.”

CROWLEY, STAVISKY, VALLONE, KOO, KIM ALSO WELCOME LUNAR CHANGE: Congressman Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, was among several other Queens lawmakers supporting the designation of Lunar New Year as a school holiday in New York City.

Crowley stated: “This has been a long time in the making and I’m glad the NYC Department of Education will recognize Lunar New Year as an official school holiday. As one of the most important traditional holidays in Asian culture, Lunar New Year is celebrated each year by countless Asian-American families across the City of New York.

The public school calendar should reflect our growing diversity so that students have the opportunity to observe their religious traditions without sacrificing valuable time in the classroom. This day wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of so many, and I’ve been proud to work alongside the broad coalition of elected officials and community advocates in this effort.”

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky: Senator Stavisky (D–Flushing) offered the following statement:

“Today, New York honors its longstanding legacy of cultural understanding by designating the Lunar New Year an official school holiday. Together with my many colleagues and friends in government, in education, in business and in the community – many of whom are here today – we made our voices heard on this issue. On this historic day, we can finally say that Asian-American children can finally celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year without worrying about the impact on their education.”

Councilmember Paul Vallone (D–Bayside): Vallone stated, “On Tuesday morning at PS 20 in Flushing, Mayor de Blasio announced the long overdue recognition of Lunar New Year as a major legal holiday for schools in the City of New York. For the first time, hundreds of thousands of students won’t have to choose between celebrating the holiday with their family and going to school.” This long fought issue was one of the first tackled by Councilman Paul Vallone upon his election. A rally he held in Flushing in January of 2014 was attended by dozens of community leaders and elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark- Viverito, and all voiced their support for making Lunar New Year an official school holiday.

“The recognition of Lunar New Year as a major legal holiday is a tremendous overdue victory for over one million of our fellow New Yorkers,” said Vallone. “This was one of the first issues I tackled as a Councilmember and I applaud the Mayor’s announcement today. I am proud to have stood with so many and become part of the one voice that made this happen. Now we can stand together as a city to finally celebrate the Lunar New Year.”

Vallone included statements of other local community leaders in his statement:

Paul Yoo, President of the Korean American Association of Queens, stated: “The City of New York is one of the most diverse places in the nation, making it to be the heart of the great American melting pot. That melting pot brings us together and changes us into great people. In this sense, I believe that the mayor’s decision to close NYC public schools for Lunar New Year in an effort to recognize Asian heritage will certainly enhance the richness of the city’s cultural diversity and promote mutual respect, acceptance, and unity among us New Yorkers.”

Christine Colligan, President, Korean American Parents Association of Greater New York: “This will be a great turning point for New York City schools to share and recognize the culture of Asia and provides an opportunity to expand and explore their knowledge of Asia.”

Peter Tu, Executive Director, Flushing Chinese Business Association: “Since 1996, when we hosted the first Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, we have waited for this day to come. Our hearts are filled with excitement and gratitude. A special thanks to Councilmember Paul Vallone, whose first act after being elected was to help us reach this goal.”

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D–Flushing): On Tuesday morning, Assemblyman Ronald Kim joined Mayor Bill de Blasio, elected officials, and community leaders.” Kim stated, “I am proud to stand with the Mayor of the City of New York and my colleagues at PS 20, the school that I attended 30 years ago, to officially recognize Lunar New Year as a school holiday. This holiday is not about kids just getting a day off from school. It’s about the City of New York telling hundreds of thousands of Asian-Americans that their culture and heritage is part of the American fabric.

“In light of the Mayor's commitment to make Lunar New Year a recognized school holiday, I have decided to lay aside Bill No. A2149, which would have mandated this holiday in New York City. Our objective has always been to work and collaborate with the Mayor in advancing inclusive policies and celebrating the rich diversity of our great city. Our community thanks Mayor Bill de Blasio for his leadership and we welcome him back to Flushing anytime.”

Councilman Peter Koo issued the following statement in response to Mayor de Blasio's announcement:

“This is a historic day for thousands of New York City school children who celebrate Lunar New Year. For too long, families have been forced to choose between celebrating this important cultural holiday and sending their children to school. By including Lunar New Year in the school calendar, New York City shows that we are an ever-evolving city that takes pride in the cultural traditions of its diverse populations.

“Many thanks to Mayor de Blasio for making good on his promise to our community, and to the countless community advocates and government officials for their steadfast support of this effort.”

CARE ACT, TO ASSIST UNPAID CAREGIVERS, IS PASSED, ADDABBO ANNOUNCES: Both Houses of the State Legislature in Albany have given final passage to the CAREAct, which is designed to provide enhanced services for the elderly who need assistance at home after leaving hospitals or other healthcare facilities, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. announced.

The lawmaker, a co-sponsor of the measure, said the bill will provide “greater information and assistance to caregivers – unpaid family, friends and neighbors who step in to lend a helping hand to discharged patients.”

The bill has now gone to Governor Cuomo for his consideration and signature.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) explained: “At any given time in New York State, there are 4.1 million New Yorkers who are providing unpaid care for family members, friends and other loved ones who have been released from the hospital and need after-care services. This care can include helping their loved ones to dress, cooking for them, cleaning their homes, administering medications and undertaking other vital tasks. By some estimates, the value of this unpaid care tops $32 billion a year.”

But, Addabbo added, “there are times when caregivers are not provided with adequate medical and other information about the services they will need to provide to their loved ones, and they often are not consulted when hospital discharge plans are being designed to meet the patient’s aftercare needs.”

Under the legislation, whose full title is the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act, hospitals would be required “to offer patients the opportunity to identify a personal caregiver – whether a family member, friend or close neighbor – to help them when they are discharged,” Addabbo explained.

“The caregiver would be identified by the patient within 24 hours of admittance,” Addabbo added, “or in cases where the patient enters the facility in an unconscious state, when consciousness in regained. The chosen caregiver would be consulted about the patient’s discharge plan, be provided with detailed information about after-care needs, and receive contact information for outside groups who might assist with necessary care.”

Addabbo said, “Ensuring that patients receive the appropriate care is not only vital on a basic human level, but could very well decrease hospital readmissions and provide savings for our overall health care system.” The lawmaker noted that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid estimate that $17 billion is expended annually on unnecessary hospital readmissions.

Addabbo summed up, “As our population continues to age, there is a growing need for informal, unpaid caregivers in our state and across the nation. This legislation would help to ensure effective and appropriate personal and medical services for those in need, and offer critical information and involvement for those providing care for their friends and family.”

The lawmaker pointed out, “Whether a patient just needs short-term assistance to bounce back from a relatively minor health issue, or more long-term and intensive aid, the CARE Act will make a big positive difference in their recovery. ”

On a related note, Addabbo is also the primary sponsor of paid family leave legislation (S.3004) which would provide compensated time off from work for New Yorkers who need to care for a new child or ailing family member. “Many men and women throughout the state are devoting many hours of their time to caring for new babies, or sick spouses or parents,” he said. “Both the CARE Act and my paid family leave proposal would provide important supports for patients, their families and their dedicated caregivers.”

AFTER NEPAL ‘QUAKE, CROWLEY-MENG WIN PROTECTION FOR NEPALESE IN US: Following the powerful earthquake in Nepal this past spring, Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Grace Meng were successful in securing from US officials Temporary Protected Service (TPS) for Nepalese nationals presently in the United States.
Crowley, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and Meng, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led a delegation of Congressmembers in appealing successfully to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry for the TPS.
Crowley (D–Queens/Bronx) and Meng (D–Flushing) explained that the move protects citizens of Nepal “from deportation or detainment so that they are not forced to return to dangerous and unsafe conditions that the earthquake caused in their county.”
Crowley’s district includes Jackson Heights, which has the largest Nepalese community in New York City. The lawmaker stated: “As the people of Nepal continue to mourn the lives lost and struggle to recover from this terrible tragedy, I’m proud our nation will continue its tradition of humanitarian support by granting TPS to Nepalis currently in our country. This is a critical step that will allow those in Queens and in communities across the country to remain here until the Nepali government is better suited to handle their return, thus helping Nepal’s government focus on their important recovery efforts.”
Meng commented, “My heart continues to ache for all those impacted by the terrible tragedy in Nepal. Allowing citizens of Nepal who are in Queens and throughout the nation to remain in the US until it’s safe to return is the right and decent thing to do, and I thank Secretary Johnson and Secretary Kerry for being responsive to our request.
“As Nepal continues to recover, the United States and international community must continue to assist the country with needed relief efforts.”
Responding for the Nepalis, Luna Ranjit, Executive Director of Adhikaar, stated: “The Nepali community in the United States is relieved that we don't have to worry about our visas. We can now focus on supporting our friends and families back home and contribute towards rebuilding our homeland. We would like to thank Congressman Crowley and Congresswoman Meng for visiting us and listening to our stories, and pushing for TPS for Nepal.”
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the United States can provide TPS when conditions in a country prevent its citizens from returning safely such as natural disaster, civil war, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
In order to qualify for TPS, applicants must have been continuously present in the United States since June 24, 2015. TPS will be in place for 18 months, until December 24, 2016.
Also applauding the United States Department of Homeland Security for designating Nepal for TPS was Councilman Daniel Dromm (D–Jackson Heights). Speaking of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal this past spring, Dromm said:
“For the next 180 days beginning June 24, 2015, eligible Nepalese nationals in the United States and those with no national status who have habitually resided in Nepal can obtain work and travel authorization. As an elected official representing the largest Nepalese community in the city, I am grateful that many of my constituents will now be eligible to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.”

With a strong push by Assemblyman Mike Miller, both Houses in Albany have passed his bill that “would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to create distinctive license plates to honor the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis.”
Miller noted that earlier this session, he introduced a resolution in the Assembly “honoring the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International which boasts nearly 600,000 members worldwide, and annually raises more than $100 million in support of their cause – improving the lives of children all over the globe.”
Miller (D–Woodhaven) explained, “Kiwanis clubs, located in 80 nations, help their communities in countless ways. This license plate provides a way for the over 10,000 Kiwanis members to identify themselves. This organization has done a great service to our communities; I feel strongly that they should be honored for having spent the past 100 years improving children’s lives through leadership training and health and education initiatives.
“This law allows the DMV to create a distinctive Kiwanis license plate to allow members to take pride in their membership in Kiwanis and to take pride in their work helping children throughout the community. I want to thank Senator Gallivan for taking the lead on this legislation in the Senate and I want to thank my colleagues in the Assembly for voting in favor of this legislation.”

PERALTA’S JOB FAIR JULY 9: Senator Jose Peralta (D–Jackson Heights) will hold his annual Job Fair next Thursday, July 9, at the Queens Center, at 90-15 Queens Boulevard, in Elmhurst, from 8 am to 3 pm. The lawmaker expects more than 30 companies will be in attendance, including Coca Cola, Starbucks, Guess, Madison Square Garden, Skechers, and the Disney Store.
In addition, Peralta said, the NYC Police and Fire Departments, USTA Tennis Center, the state Department of Labor and several non-profit organizations will be taking part in the event.
“If you are looking for a job or a career change, drop by the Job Fair and bring plenty of résumés as some of the companies may hire on the spot,” Peralta advises.

HINDUS NOW SEEK DIWALI HOLIDAY IN NYC SCHOOLS: With Mayor de Blasio having fulfilled a campaign promise to the city’s Asian families by creating a school holiday on the Lunar New Year Hindus now are urging the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to include Diwali, the most popular Hindu holy day, as a school holiday in their 2015-2016 school calendars and beyond.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed released a statement noting that “it was not fair with Hindu pupils and their families as they had to attend school on their most popular festival.”
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that “This unfairness did not send a good signal to the impressionable minds of schoolchildren who would be the leaders of tomorrow. Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion.
“Moreover,” he added, “It was important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of these students.” He further emphasize, “Since it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at home with their children, we did not want our children to be deprived of any privileges at the school because of thus resulting absences on this day. Closing schools on Diwali would ensure that and it would be a step in the right direction.”
Zed further says that “Hinduism is rich in festivals and religious festivals are very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.”
Zed continued, “Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, which falls on November 11 in 2015. Hinduism, [the] oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in [the] USA.”

BRAUNSTEIN’S BILL REGULATES CLOTHING BINS: “Fake charities… benefiting from the generous nature of our community by misleading people into believing that their donations are going to help those in need of assistance,” said Assemblyman Edward Braunstein.
So he has had legislation passed by both houses in Albany “to combat the proliferation of clothing collection bins provided by fake charities in New York. Braunstein (D–Bayside) charges:
“These bins are frequently placed on sidewalks and other public places, damaging the quality of life of our neighborhoods. It is time we remove these bins and ensure that fake charities no longer benefit from their deceptive actions.”
Chrissey Voskerichian, President of the 109th Precinct Community Council, was quick to praise Braunstein for his legislation.
“I applaud Assemblyman Braunstein for taking action against the unscrupulous individuals who are looking to make a quick profit off of our intended good will donations. These illegal boxes do not serve those in need. They do nothing more than block sidewalks, attracting litter, graffiti and dumping, diminishing the quality of life in our community.”
Additionally, the lawmakers said, disclosure is required if the bin is operated by a for-profit business in conjunction with a non-profit organization, a practice referred to as “rent-a-charity.”
Bin owners are subject to fines for violations of the disclosure and maintenance requirements of the bill, Braunstein pointed out.
He also noted, “Some of these bins are eyesores because they are not maintained by their operators and serve as trash receptacles and graffiti magnets. Also collection bins have long been considered a positive way to donate used clothing to those in need, but they are sometimes operated by irresponsible companies masquerading as charities.”
Braunstein also said his legislation “will help to weed out the bad actors so that people can be certain that they are donating to charities or to legitimate textile recycling businesses, such as those affiliated with SMART, a coalition of companies whose goal is to remove the textiles from landfills.”
SMART (The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association) issued a statement from Jackie King, its Executive Director, which states:
“SMART wholeheartedly supports the measures in the bill that address any potential ‘bad actors’ in the recycling/re-use community and provide for reasonable regulation of for-profit and non-profit bin collectors, including maintenance and disclosure requirements for the owners of the bins and penalties for those placing bins without permission from property owners. At the same time the bill will further SMART’s goal of reducing the amount of clothing and textiles that end up in New York State landfills by providing convenient locations for constituents to recycle their clothing and textiles.”

ADDABBO BACKS BILLS RELATED TO COPS AND FIRE FIGHTERS: As the legislative session was ending, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. voted to pass bills to make inciting violence against cops a crime and also making a terrorist threat against a police officer a crime. The Howard Beach lawmaker also voted for a bill which “seeks to correct an inequity in the city’s pension system for police and firefighters which provides significantly lower accidental and disability benefits” than are paid to their peers throughout the state.
The first police-related bill would establish the crime of inciting violence against a police officer, a Class D felony punishable by a prison sentence of two to seven years. He stated: “We have seen tragic incidents recently when anger against police officers in general has spilled over into senseless, cold-blooded and deadly attacks,” Addabbo said those who precipitate these ugly incidents must be stopped.
Regarding terroristic attacks, there are already laws on the books covering threats made with the intent of intimidating or harming civilians or disrupting or harming a government unit, carries a lesser felony charge.
But making a terrorist threat against a police officer… should carry more weight. He said the charge should rise to Class C felony, explaining, “We need to safeguard those who are sworn to protect us in the event of terror attacks and other devastating crimes.”
Regarding the matter of correcting the pension inequity of police and firefighters, Addabbo said his bill “would place these New York City officers on an equal footing with their peers throughout the state. He explained that a statewide pension measure which was vetoed in 2009 for “economic reasons” ultimately contributed to the disparity.
“Unlike other statewide police and fire unions, NYC fire and police unions were not able to negotiate the same disability compensation for their members who joined the force after 2009,” Addabbo said.
“It’s time to provide all of our New York City police and fire officials with the same levels of disability compensation available to their peers across New York State.”
The pension equity and the other two criminal matters sponsored by Addabbo passed the Senate but have not been voted on in the Assembly.

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