Maloney, Nadler, King Announce Half of House of Representatives Now Cosponsoring Bill to Fully Fund and Renew the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
WASHINGTON, DC– Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Peter King (R-NY), chief House sponsors of the bipartisan Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act today announced that the bill has the support of more than half of the House of Representatives. 226 total members of the House now are now cosponsoring the bill.
The bipartisan legislation would ensure that all 9/11 first responders and survivors who have been injured by the toxins at Ground Zero and have certified 9/11 illnesses would receive their full compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) now and into the future as more become ill with 9/11-related diseases. The bill would also close the funding gap announced earlier this year by the VCF Special Master.
“We’re incredibly proud that a majority of the House believes we must fulfil our promise to ‘Never Forget’ those harmed by 9/11 and we’re not done yet. We intend to keep working with our partners in Congress and in the 9/11 community to secure the support of the overwhelming majority of the House as we move this bill through the process.
“We could never have reached this milestone without the countless hours spent by first responders, survivors, and family members of victims advocating for this bill and the VCF program. These men and women, many of whom are suffering from 9/11-related diseases, are heroes and we are eternally grateful for all they are doing on behalf of the tens of thousands of people from all over the country that they represent. We cannot let them down.”
A 600-ton crane hoisted the six stone monoliths that will flank the 9/11 Memorial Glade. Photo by Jin S. Lee, 9/11 Memorial.
Over the weekend, six multiton granite monoliths were installed on the 9/11 Memorial as the essential centerpiece of the 9/11 Memorial Glade. The Glade will honor those who are sick or who have died from 9/11-related illnesses caused by exposure to toxins in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
The monoliths, each weighting between 13 and 17.8 tons and created by the Rock of Ages granite manufacturing company in Barre, Vt., traveled six hours south on flatbed trucks through the Green Mountains and the rolling hills of New England. They were escorted by a team of eight personnel from the Vermont Division of Fire Safety.
As the team assisted the trucks on their way to New York City, local first responders in communities along the way saluted the monoliths on the highway overpasses to recognize the importance and national significance of this project.
The monoliths were lifted over the 9/11 Memorial on Saturday by a 600-ton crane. Steel salvaged from the original World Trade Center will be incorporated into each of the monoliths.
Even as the nation’s capital was caught up in the frenzy over the Mueller Report, advocates for the reauthorization of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund were working the corridors of Congress to advance their cause.
“In a way, the distraction of the Mueller Report was a welcomed opportunity for us because we had the full attention of the administrative assistants who we met with,” said Michael Barasch, the attorney for the late NYPD Detective James Zadroga, for whom the original World Trade Center health-and-compensation bill was named.
Already Reduced Payouts
Last year, Rupa Bhattacharyya, the Special Master for the 9/11 VCF, announced that as a consequence of a dramatic spike in the number of 9/11 wrongful-death and WTC-related cancer claims, the $7.3-billion fund would have to greatly reduce the size of its payouts. Without reauthorization, the program is slated to close late next year.
“We are getting 50 percent of what everybody else was getting with exactly the same cancer before Feb. 1,” Mr. Barasch said in a phone interview. “Colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, that were all getting $250,000 before Feb. 1, are now getting $125,000—even if their case had been pending for well over a year. This is hitting our police and fire widows as well.”
Two dozen city workers have finally been granted unlimited sick leave as they fight the illnesses linked to their time at Ground Zero — as critics hammer Mayor de Blasio for doling out the much-needed help on a chaotic, piecemeal basis, the Daily News has learned.
The added sick leave coverage comes six months after de Blasio approved the special sick leave for DC37, one of the city’s largest unions — vowing the agreement would form the basis for additional pacts with unions whose workers suffer with a 9/11 illness.
As I have spent the last several weeks talking to educators about working with migrant children, some have cried.
Their tears, they say, come from a mix of worry, empathy, and frustration with the negative, sometimes hateful, rhetoric surrounding the unprecedented flow of immigrant families across the southern border.
Reporting on migrant children—tens of thousands have come from Central America in recent years—and how they are faring in public schools across the United States as they await their final fates in immigration proceedings is difficult. Lawyers and advocates assisting children and teens are fiercely protective. The kids themselves are often terrified of talking, and not just because they worry about being deported. And the educators teaching and supporting them do not track their numbers formally because federal law requires public schools to enroll and educate children regardless of their immigration status.
East Ramapo desperate for Foundation Aid fairness in state budget
Mondaire Jones Published 12:59 p.m. ET March 25, 2019
New York state legally owes the East Ramapo Central School District $25 million, and now that Democrats control both the legislative and executive branches of government, nothing can excuse a failure to deliver. The money owed is called Foundation Aid.
According to a 2006 decision by our state’s highest court in Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York, Foundation Aid represents the minimum amount in supplemental funds needed to ensure our public school students receive the sound, basic education they are guaranteed under the state constitution. For more than a decade, the state’s debt to our public school districts, including East Ramapo, has not been fully paid.
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Children on a bus going home from a Brooklyn yeshiva.CreditCreditDemetrius Freeman for The New York Times
As New York City has finally begun to exercise oversight over ultra-Orthodox yeshivas that have graduated students without a basic education, some of those Jewish schools have defied city health department scrutiny and helped to feed a measles outbreak. Forty children have contracted measles in recent months, all of the cases linked to a single Brooklyn yeshiva that ignored an order from city health officials to prevent children who hadn’t been vaccinated from attending classes.
Yet that hasn’t stopped yeshiva supporters in Albany from maneuvering to free the schools from government supervision, a reflection of the political pull ultra-Orthodox leaders have come to expect in New York.