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NY Disability Attorney Travels to Albany for Senate Workers' Compensation Reform Hearings

Monday, March 13, 2006

I will be traveling to the State Capitol tomorrow, with fellow New York Workers‚Äô Compensation Alliance Board member Barbara Levine, to attend the Senate Workers‚Äô Compensation Reform hearings called by Upstate Senator George Maziarz. Although the scheduled speakers are heavily stacked in favor of the insurance industry and employer interests, AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes will be speaking on behalf of all injured working men and women across New York State. Of course, the Workers‚Äô Compensation Alliance will be out in full force making sure the Senate Labor Committee is aware of our opposition to the Pataki “Deform” bill.
I had the pleasure of sitting down last week with Senate Labor Committee member John Flanagan (R-Northport) in his district office in Smithtown. Senator Flanagan is certainly one of the Legislature’s rising stars, and we spoke for a considerable time about how the Pataki bill would hurt permanently disabled 9/11 victims. In fact, all the Long Island State Senators, including Dean Skelos, Mike Balboni, Chuck Fuschillo and Carl Marcellino, know first hand the devastating and ongoing impact of 9/11 claims in the workers’ compensation system.
Unlike some upstate Senators, they probably personally know workers who are just now coming down with cancer and lung diseases related to working at Ground Zero. In addition, each has a strong tradition of supporting working people. In fact, many were in attendance last Friday night at a Nassau Republican gala in Woodbury in which union leaders Auggie Buckhardt and Bill Flanagan were honored. I am confident that they will not cap permanent disability benefits for injured workers. I look forward to seeing them in Albany. A full report on the Senate workers’ compensation hearings will follow shortly.

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