A bill reconstituting a task force that examines the health effects of workers who participated in rescue and response operations at the World Trade Center site after the September 11 attacks was signed into law Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The measure, approved on the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks, extends the life of the task through June 2025.
The panel was first created in 2005 to examine and collect data of the health problems facing September 11 first responders and recovery workers. Many workers since the attacks have contracted various cancers and respiratory ailments that are linked to work at Ground Zero.
"These brave men and women selflessly put their health and safety at risk to help New York recover in the aftermath of 9/11 and they deserve to be taken care of the way they took care of us," Cuomo said. "This measure will help ensure they continue to receive the care they need and that New York is able to act to meet their evolving needs."
At the same time, the bill expands the required purview of the task force to include reviews of processing times for disability claims, notices of approval rates for claims and the lack of disability coverage for public workers who participated in the response efforts, but were not members of the retirement system at the time.