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Cuomo signs into law measure providing death benefits for families of frontline government workers

Staff Reports Posted 30 May 2020 at 4:55 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law a new measure providing death benefits to the families of frontline workers who lost their lives fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in New York.

The bill, S.8427/A.10528, establishes a Covid-19 death benefit for the families of state and local government employees who have been on the front lines of response to this public health emergency.

“This new law will provide death benefits to the families of state and local government frontline workers who died from Covid-19 and gave their lives for us,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is the least we can do to say thank you, and we honor you, and we remember you. We will be there to support your families going forward. And we say to their families, we thank you, we grieve for your loss, and we will always be there for you the way your loved one was there for us.”

The governor called the frontline workers, “modern day heroes.” He praised them for going to work at a time when people were encouraged to stay home as much as possible due to the danger of Covid-19.

“What would have happened if the doctors didn’t show up and the bus drivers didn’t show up and the subway conductors didn’t show up and the food delivery people didn’t show up and the pharmacists didn’t show up and the delivery women and men didn’t show up?” Cuomo said. “What would have happened if there was no food on the shelves? What would have happened if there was no one in the emergency room when you showed up? You want to talk about crisis, you want to talk about pain.”

The workers continued to do their jobs, putting themselves at risk for others.

“They were New Yorkers, they were linked by the commonality of humanity and their better angels said get past your fear,” Cuomo said. “Get past your weakness. Don’t stay home. Rise up. Be strong. Be better than you think you can be yourself. Get in touch with your strength and hear that strength and they did it. We acted as one. This diverse community of New York, people from all over the globe. Different languages. We acted as one. Many of those people gave their lives for us during that time. They gave their lives because we asked them to show up for us and they did.”

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