Photo Courtesy of Sen. Addabbo’s Office
The bill would, according to Sen. Addabbo, enable step-children and other non-biological children raised by deceased Sept. 11 first responders to become eligible for “legacy credits” on competitive civil service exams.
By Forum Staff
The New York State Senate recently passed a bill introduced by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (S.3070), which would enable step-children and other non-biological children raised by deceased 9-11 first responders to become eligible for “legacy credits” on competitive civil service exams.
“Years ago, New York State sought to honor the memories of first responders who died as a result of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks by providing their surviving children and siblings with an additional 10 points on competitive civil service exams,”Addabbo said. “Many of these children and other relatives of firefighters, police officers, EMTs, paramedics and others who perished as a direct result of the attacks – whether at the scene or from related health issues – often wish to follow in the footsteps of the people they lost and pursue a civil service career. But, the initial legacy credit law inadvertently left out a number of other loved ones of first responders who died, and my legislation is an effort to address a specific deficiency.”
Under Addabbo’s bill, the stepchildren or children of surviving spouses of deceased first responders, who were not legally adopted or their biological offspring, would become eligible for the extra points on civil service exams. The issue was brought to Addabbo’s attention when a local woman told him that her son, whose step-father perished as a result of the attacks, wanted to carry on his step-dad’s legacy as a firefighter through the credit program but was ineligible to apply.
“For many of these children, the moms or dads they tragically lost as a result of the 9-11 attacks and the aftermath, were the only moms or dads they ever knew – regardless of whether they were related by blood,” Addabbo said. “These children were forced to say good-bye to parents who cared for them, raised them, supported them financially, and loved them. That these men and women were not the biological parents of these children did not prevent them from being loving families and feeling as much loss as any other sons and daughters of 9-11 heroes and heroines.”
In the Assembly, Queens Assemblyman Mike Miller – the sponsor in that house – is pushing for passage of the bill, which is under consideration by the Committee on Governmental Employees.
“Sometimes, the definition of family is much bigger and more complex than the law officially recognizes,” said Addabbo. “This legislation will help to ensure that additional children who suffered the loss of a parent as a result of the terrorist attacks 16 years ago will have a greater opportunity to enter public service – whether as first responders themselves, or in other civil service capacities.”
Addabbo stated that the bill originated from a situation involving a constituent, Joanie Abruzzino-York, and her son Robert, who was raised from birth by his step-father, Ray York, an honored FDNY firefighter who perished at the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001.