Gov. Hochul signs bill to help 9/11 victims
ALBANY, NY (WENY)-- On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation intending to help victims and survivors.
In June, during the most recent legislative session in Albany, lawmakers passed a bill to require employers of past and present employees about their potential eligibility for victim compensation and free health care through the World Trade center Health program.
“In the aftermath, we’ve had many people who have gotten sick and lost their lives or are dealing with ongoing health consequences. So, this is about recognizing that it’s very important that we address the needs of those people,” said Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-27th Senate District).
Some lawmakers said many New Yorkers continue to struggle with serious long-term health effects.
“We still continue to have a responsibility to build a legacy of healing and to prove that New Yorker’s take care of our own,” said Sen. Jessica Ramos (D- 13th Senate District).
Michael Barasch, a 9/11 survivor and managing attorney for Barasch & McGarry lawyers for the 9/11 community, said he will never forget what he experienced that day.
“Watching dozens and dozens of people jumping out of the windows, you never forget that of course. And then of course the towers fell, and I went running uptown covered in dust,” he said.
Barasch said this legislation could help thousands of New Yorkers.
“9/11 didn’t end on 9/11. At my law firm, every day is 9/11, because not a day goes by without two of our clients passing away. Not a day goes by without at least a dozen new people calling us saying I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer,” he said.
The bill is written to take effect 270 days after it's signed.