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Vainieri Huttle Blasts Senate Republicans for Ignoring Sacrifices of Ailing 9/11 Workers

(ENGLEWOOD) – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) today expressed outrage and disappointment at U.S. Senate Republicans for blocking a vote on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a critical bill that would provide money for medical aid to World Trade Center workers sickened by exposure to toxins in the 9/11 aftermath.

“It is appalling that national Republicans are playing political games with health benefits for the heroic men and women who selflessly stepped up to the plate during a national tragedy.

“On September 11, 2001, when thousands of people were fleeing New York City, Bergen County first responders went into Ground Zero to rescue and recover victims of the terrorist attack. At the very least, the country should show its gratitude by enabling those individuals to receive medical attention for illnesses attributable to their service on 9/11 and the weeks and months that followed.

The legislation is named after James Zadroga, a 34-year old New York City Police Department officer from Bergen County, NJ, whose death from respiratory disease was the first attributed to participation in the rescue and recovery operations in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Vainieri Huttle is also the sponsor of similar state legislation (A-958) which would allow New Jersey workers involved in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations to retire on accidental disability if they became totally and permanently disabled as a direct result of their work at Ground Zero.