Queens, NY (March 27, 2013): NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), a staunch champion of the effort to provide promised health care benefits to retirees of the bankrupt New York City Off-Track Betting (OTB) Corporation, made the following statement on provisions included in the new 2013-2014 State Budget, approved by the Senate, to provide this long-awaited coverage:
“With the Senate approving the state budget early this morning, our state is one step closer to acting on its promise to provide health coverage benefits that were wrongly taken away from New York City OTB retirees when the Corporation closed its doors in December of 2010. With the hopeful Assembly and Governor approvals this week, many of these dedicated former workers, who had every reason to believe that they would receive the benefits they were promised as employees, will be able to safeguard their health without paying astronomical out-of-pocket medical costs.
“The new State Budget would contain language that will ensure that up to $5 million is set aside every year to provide health care benefits to OTB retirees and their dependents in New York State. Having fought for this coverage since the New York City OTB was shut down, and having sponsored legislation year after year to make these benefits a reality, I am pleased with this outcome.
“Now we await the state budget passage by the Assembly and the final approval of our Governor before April 1, 2013.”