Thanks to the advocacy carried out by many parties, including Local 79 members, the MTDCPAC, LiUNA members across the country, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Representative Carolyn Maloney, and others, the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act has been extended to provide healthcare coverage for the next 75 years to first responders and others who suffer from lingering effects from the 9/11 attacks and the cleanup following the attacks. In addition, Congress renewed the Victims Compensation Fund for five years. The Fund provides financial assistance to aid ailing first responders who are too sick to work.
It is shameful that the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act–which should not have been contentious–took years, with first responders, members of LiUNA and its affiliates, and others, making hundreds of trips to Washington to lobby Congress. Fortunately, the efforts of all of these people bore fruit, and first responders and others will continue to be provided the healthcare and financial support they deserve for their heroic efforts.