STATE OF POLITICS: LEGACY POINTS
by Zack Fink
A bill that would prevent the children of firefighters from losing legacy points has now reached the desk of Governor Cuomo. The bill corrects a civil service law that granted legacy points to children of EMT’s and siblings of firefighters who wanted to follow in their parents’ footsteps. In May, a handful of aspiring firefighters received word that they would not be able to move up the waiting list since their fathers had died of illnesses related to cleanup, and not actually on duty when the towers were hit.
The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Republican Greg Ball, expands the definition of “killed in the line of duty” to include deaths that were the natural and proximate result of the attacks or subsequent rescue and recovery operation.
There has been a lobbying effort on the part of Ball and those directly affected in order to pressure Cuomo to sign the bill. And like many issues in state government, politics came into play. The Cuomo Administration had claimed to be waiting for the bill, while Ball started a petition urging him to sign it. The children of firefighters ( who marked the anniversary of the attacks just this month ) were hoping to have the bill signed in time for the September 11th commemoration.
However, one of these individuals tells me he spoke with the Governor’s office a number of times and was not given the help he needed. They were planning a second big push in the press urging Cuomo to sign the bill but when he spoke to an associate Counsel in the Governor’s office ( whom I have chosen not to name ), he was warned not to do anything that would create “ill will.”
The “ill will” comment spooked him and they opted instead not to go public, and just quietly hope it gets signed. I have no reason to believe the Governor won’t sign it, but I can’t seem to get a straight answer about what exactly is going on with it. (ARTICLE)