(Albany, NY)- State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C/I-Mt. Hope) voted in favor of two pieces of legislation today designed to protect first responders who courageously serve their communities, and their families. The first bill, S. 1411, of which Senator Bonacic is a co-sponsor, would expand the existing presumption under the Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Law (VFBL) that cancer of the digestive, hematological, lymphatic, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast and reproductive systems is related to their service as a firefighter. Currently, these types of cancers are not covered under the VFBL.
The other bill, S. 1195, would establish that volunteer firefighter and volunteer ambulance worker death benefits be paid within 90 days of filing an application to receive such benefits. Over the years, there have been a number of instances in which payment of death benefits were delayed. It has been documented that in certain cases beneficiaries have waited over 6 months to receive payment of benefit. This bill would ensure that no family endure the hardship of waiting for their benefits.
“These two pieces of legislation will protect our first responders who put their lives on the line every day, and provide piece of mind to families of these heroes,” said Senator Bonacic. “I urge the Assembly to pass these bills immediately so we can protect those who protect us.”
Both bills have been sent to the Assembly.