Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate Budget and Appropriations Chair Paul Sarlo, Senator Patrick Diegnan and Senator Linda Greenstein that would provide benefits to surviving family members of police officers who volunteered in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, has passed the Senate Budget Committee.
“Many courageous men and women from around the Garden State answered the call to help following the horrific September 11th attacks,” said Senator Sarlo (D-Bergen). “It wasn’t until long after those grim weeks at Ground Zero that we began to understand the health impact working at the site had on police officers and other volunteers. It is only right that we provide officers’ families support after they made the ultimate sacrifice to support our country.”
The bill, S-3208, would provide accidental death benefits to a surviving spouse or a surviving child of a deceased member or retiree of the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) who participated in 9/11 World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations and ultimately died due to health complications resulting from their participation.
“When the reality of the events on 9/11 became apparent, many New Jersey police officers made the selfless drive towards the smoke billowing out of the Twin Towers to provide needed assistance in the efforts at Ground Zero,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “It was unknown then how toxic the air at Ground Zero was, and the heroic actions of these officers who have passed on more than warrants support for their families.”
“Many officers from New Jersey made the trip to New York City without hesitation on 9/11,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “Sadly, for many, their selfless act of heroism in the face of terrorism ultimately led to years of health issues. The families of these officers, who eventually lost their battles with cancer and other illnesses, deserve support especially after the support they showed America.”
The bill was released from committee with a unanimous vote.