CBS New York recently reported the NYC mayor Bill de Blasio is coming under fire for traveling extensively instead of attending to duties here at home. During his 21 months in office, the mayor has held one town hall meeting, but has flown to Nebraska, Washington, D.C., Iowa, Italy, Paris and the Vatican.
New York state Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-Staten Island) was particularly critical of de Blasio’s jaunt to Iowa for a presidential forum when he should have stayed at home to deal with various local issues, such as homelessness, the schools, and the 9/11 first responders who are now threatened with the loss of federal medical benefits because the Zadroga Act has expired.
The mayor defended his participation in the presidential forum, saying he wants the candidates to talk about the investments they feel the government should make in urban America. De Blasio also issued a statement as the Zadroga Act expired:
“Tonight at midnight, the World Trade Center Health Program is set to expire – and, as it stands, Congress plans to let it. That is unacceptable. Our first responders were there for us on 9/11 and every day after – and we have a moral obligation to be there for them. Congress must stop putting politics ahead of our heroes’ health, immediately extend the Zadroga Act – and ensure that our police officers, firefighters, medical professionals, and all first responders and survivors receive the health care and support they need and deserve.”
As advocates for police and firefighters, we can’t help but note that Mayor de Blasio has had uneasy relations with the police during his tenure. Full-throated endorsement of the Zadroga Act’s extension, along with active lobbying of recalcitrant federal lawmakers, would certainly help to improve that relationship.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Zadroga Act benefits, you must act quickly. Call Barasch & McGarry at [ln::phone] or contact our office online.