Some reflections after chairing the Senate Committee on Civil Service & Pensions

  • Increased the cost of living allowance for pension benefits paid to widowers of deceased public retirees who died in the line of duty
  • Made it easier for firefighters who developed Parkinson’s Disease to prove that the disease was job-related, enhancing their disability or death pension benefits
  • 9/11 Heroes package of 2019:
  • Ensured that retired NYC firefighters who were diagnosed with cancer within five years of retirement could access Accidental Disability Retirement pensions
  • Expanded the number of specialized physicians on the NYCERS Medical Board, making it easier for disabled 9/11 first responders to secure benefits
  • Granted unlimited sick leave to NYC municipal workers exposed to toxins at the WTC pile
  • Revived and improved the 9/11 Workers Protection Task Force
  • Closed a loophole in the WTC Presumption Law which denied first responders benefits if they participated in rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations at the pile but had not joined a pension system at the time of their participation
  • Created a COVID-19 pension death benefit for public employees reporting to work on or after March 1st, 2020 who caught COVID
  • Required public employers to create and publish a pandemic workplace safety plan
  • Required all employers (public and private) to grant four hours of paid leave to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including boosters

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