N.Y. Seen Losing $125M Sept. 11 Workers’ Comp Aid for Sick Rescuers

November 17, 2005

Congressional budget negotiators have decided to take back $125 million in Sept. 11 aid from New York, which had fought to keep the money to treat sick and injured ground zero workers, lawmakers said.

New York’s elected officials had sought for months to hold onto the funding, originally aimed to pay for workers’ compensation costs stemming from the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But a massive labor and health spending bill moving fitfully through House-Senate negotiations will go ahead, meaning the funding will be taken back, elected officials said this week.

“It seems that despite our efforts,” the funding take-back “will stand, very sadly, and that is something of a promise broken,” said Rep. Vito Fossella, R-Staten Island.

“We will try hard in the coming weeks, but ultimately Congress will have something of a black eye over this,” Fossella said.

A spokeswoman for Rep. John Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, said he, too, had been told New York would lose the funding in whatever compromise version of the spending bill is finally brought to the floor.

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