ALBANY – A bill that would provide unlimited line-of-duty sick-leave benefits to former New York City police officers who worked on the rescue, recovery and cleanup of the Sept. 11 attacks and now work in Long Island departments was approved by the Assembly late Tuesday.
The bill heads to the Senate where it has strong bipartisan support; the Senate, though, would have to act Wednesday, which is the last scheduled day of the 2017 legislative session.
The bill aims to compensate the former NYPD officers now dealing with cancer and other maladies blamed on the terrorist attacks and the aftermath, according to Sens. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) and Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), two of the bill sponsors.
The state would pay the cost of additional sick days without a charge to the Nassau and Suffolk counties, or other police agencies where the former NYPD officers work. A few hundred officers who haven’t yet retired or taken disability leave are believed to be affected.
Advocates said the urgency is that under their new employers, the officers are quickly using up their sick days for treatment. That forces them to decide whether to lose daily pay, go on disability leave or retire to treat their 9/11 cancer, the advocates said.
“I have spoken with too many brave officers who served courageously after 9/11 and who now find themselves battling cancer,” Kaminsky said Tuesday night. “New York needs to be therefor them and we are very close to accomplishing this vital goal.”