Assembly Passes Legislation to Extend Death Benefits to Families of Municipal Frontline Workers

Speaker Carl Heastie and Governmental Employees Committee Chair Peter Abbate, Jr. today announced the Assembly has passed legislation to extend the provisions granted last year that ensure families of municipal frontline workers who lost their lives to COVID-19 as a result of their service receive the benefits they deserve (A.3988, Abbate).

“Throughout the course of this pandemic, our brave frontline workers have gotten up and gone to work every day despite the tremendous risks to their health,” said Speaker Heastie. “Tragically, many of these heroic public servants lost their lives to COVID-19. This legislation will ensure that the line of duty death benefits we put in place last year will remain available as we continue to battle this pandemic.”

“Although many workers have been fortunate enough to work from home during this global pandemic, our frontline workers are not afforded that luxury,” said Assemblymember Abbate. “Day after day, emergency medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, transit workers, state and municipal employees, and many others continue to put their health at risk to ensure that we can stay home and stay safe. These public employees who lost their lives to COVID-19 deserve all of our gratitude, and their families deserve the critical benefits afforded in this legislation.”

Last year, the Assembly Majority passed critical legislation to provide an accidental death benefit to the beneficiaries of our frontline workers. This benefit is paid to public employees who die on the job as a result of an accident. The accidental death benefit is more substantial than the ordinary death benefit for public workers. Today’s legislation will extend these provisions from December 31, 2020 through December 31, 2022.