Hartford, CT - State Representative Molgano (R-144) joined the rest of the legislature to unanimously pass the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program and Fund on Wednesday afternoon. The emergency certified bill was presented before the chamber nearly 3 months after the tragic incident that took place on December 14th in Newtown. The bill will provide financial assistance for unpaid missed work and out-of-pocket medical expenses for workers who experienced mental health issues as a result of their presence at or response to the crisis at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The bill also covered other aspects of assistance for survivors of Sandy Hook. The emergency certified bill contained 2 other items, one item allowing a waiver from CMT testing for all students in Newtown for the 2012-2013 school year. The other item, a pension piece, assists the spouse of the school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, who was killed. Mary was 2 months and 2 weeks shy of attaining her 20 years of service, the bill will allow her service to reflect the 20 years so her spouse may receive the benefit of 20 years of service. Enacting this language also results in adding up to another year of service time to the other teachers who were killed.
“I am proud of all of our leaders for coming together in a bipartisan matter to draft this important and necessary bill. This does nothing to make up for the horrific events that these people have experienced, but I think it helps in lightening the load and it is the least we can do. This is a critical healing time for our First Responders and they deserve respect and admiration from this legislature,” said Rep. Molgano.
The Office of Victim Services (OVS) will serve as the program administrator. The Fund does not use taxpayer money, instead collecting charitable donations from public and private sources. The Office of the State Treasurer will receive the donations and hold the funds while claims are administered.
The bill was introduced by leaders Rep. J. Brendan Sharkey (D-88), Sen. Donald E. Williams (D-29), Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-30), Sen. Martin M. Looney (D-11), Rep. Lawrence F. Cafero, (R-142), and
Sen. John McKinney (R-28). The bill will go into effect immediately.
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