The law that provides health monitoring and financial aid to 9/11 workers and their families expired at the beginning of this month, and Rep. Richard L. Hanna is among the congressional advocates fighting to extend it.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is named after a New York Police Department officer who died of a respiratory disease attributed to the Sept. 11 attacks.
While its authorization expired on Sept. 30, the program can continue spending funds for one additional year.
For now, first responders who rushed to the World Trade Center after the 2001 terrorist attacks, worked for weeks and now suffer from illnesses like pulmonary disease and cancers will still be able to get their health care. But federal officials who administer the program say it will face challenges by February and will have to start shutting down by next summer.
Hanna, R-22, Barneveld, will stand with Utica first responders Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Utica Central Fire Station Bleecker and Third streets, to call on Congress to renew the bill.
Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks, who led a group of Utica firefighters and traveled to Ground Zero in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, is being monitored through the Zadroga Health and Compensation Act. Brooks will join Hanna and Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri along with area first responders at the event.
Hanna and other members of New York’s congressional delegation have been calling on leadership to hold a vote to renew the act. They argue that notices will have to be issued to recipients and doctors participating in the health program next year, which could cause anxiety and prompt doctors to leave the program.