Statement of New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on Today’s Signing of the Line of Duty Death Benefit

Albany - Throughout this pandemic we continue to witness the heroism and bravery of our frontline workers who provide vital public services each and every day. Now, the families of those courageous men and women who died from COVID-19, will get the line of duty death benefits they so rightly deserve.

Governor Cuomo has said since day one that we should all show our respect and appreciation to these workers and he has done exactly that today by signing this bill into law. The Governor’s heartfelt words this morning in tribute to our fallen frontline workers was matched by his leadership and action. We thank the Governor for being true to his word and once again standing up for working people. 

We also thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for recognizing the sacrifice so many of these brave souls made by just showing-up to work each day.

The bill sponsors, Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees, demonstrated tremendous compassion and a desire to truly do something positive for the families of these dedicated public servants during such a challenging time. For that, we are grateful.

We are enduring extremely dark times, but this legislation sheds a bit of light on the brave public servants who make the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of us all.

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The New York State AFL-CIO is a federation of 3,000 unions, representing 2.5 million members, retirees and their families with one goal; to raise the standard of living and quality of life of all working people. We keep New York State Union Strong by fighting for better wages, better benefits and better working conditions. For more information on the Labor Movement in New York, visit www.nysaflcio.org.