TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph V. Doria and Nicholas J. Sacco to extend eligibility for the New Jersey World Trade Center Scholarship Program to the children and spouses of those who died due to exposure to the attack site was signed into law today by Governor Corzine.
“The signing of this bill sends the message that we stand firmly behind the brave men and women who lost their lives in rescue efforts following the attacks on September 11,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “Despite the dangers, New Jersey’s first responders answered the call, heading across the river into a war zone of twisted steel, fire and debris, where even breathing the air was toxic – a fact that we unfortunately didn’t know until it was too late. For the surviving family members of those who lost their lives to help save others, we have a moral obligation to help, and I’m glad the State of New Jersey is willing to meet that obligation.”
The new law, S-2130, expands the scope of the New Jersey World Trade Center Scholarship Program to include the dependents and spouses of persons who died as a result of illness caused by exposure to one of the sites subject to terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The scholarship program was originally established for the dependents and spouses of those killed by terrorist action on September 11. Under the new law, individuals applying under this new category of eligibility are responsible for providing to the board of trustees of the World Trade Center Scholarship Fund any medical documentation necessary to prove their eligibility.
“The simple tragedy of rescue workers risking, and in some case, forfeiting their lives to aid strangers in need, is that, with advanced warning, we could have better-prepared these brave men and women for the dangers at Ground Zero,” said Senator Sacco, D-Bergen and Hudson. “The days and weeks following September 11 will stand as a testament to the complete breakdown in information and communication from the federal government that put our first responders in harm’s way. At least in New Jersey, we can recognize the sacrifices made by helping the surviving family members receive a quality college education through the World Trade Center Scholarship Fund.”