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Sound Bites: Ground Zero employers must notify workers of 9/11 benefits

Governor Kathy Hochul signed five pieces of legislation in New York City to provide support to 9/11 victims, survivors and their loved ones
Don Pollard
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul signed five pieces of legislation in New York City to provide support to 9/11 victims, survivors and their loved ones.

Good Morning. Gov. Kathy Hochul marked 22 years since the Sept. 11 attacks by signing legislation that requires employers to notify New Yorkers who worked near Ground Zero to apply for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program. The law will target employees who were in the Lower Manhattan and northern Brooklyn exposure zones between September 2001 and the end of May 2002. 

The fund has paid out over $12 billion to the survivors of the terror attacks, including office workers, teachers and children who were going to school near Ground Zero.

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we are hearing:

A tenants union reached a tentative deal with their landlords in New Haven, following a week-long protest that ended on Friday. Members of the Blake Street Tenants Union protested in response to receiving “no-fault” eviction notices in mid-August. The tenants believed their evictions were in response to the union’s opposition toward a 20% rent increase. The Blake Street apartment manager, Ocean Management, rescinded the notices and vowed to not make similar eviction actions for three months.

A Florida customer is suing Charter Communications for declining an offer from Disney to keep their channels on the cable service. ABC, ESPN, FX and other Disney channels were removed from Charter customers on Labor Day weekend without notice. Disney and Charter have long been disputing over the right to carry Disney content, but the Stamford-based company declined an offer to extend negotiations. The lawsuit claims the removal of Disney content is in violation of Florida consumer protection laws.

Friday marked one year since Suffolk County was hit by a ransomware attack that may have exposed personal data of 500,000 residents. The cyberattack knocked out or limited several services, including civil service testing, traffic and parking violations, police dispatch and the county’s main website. Most services have been restored, but operations from the county comptroller’s and clerk's offices remain locked.

Approximately $20 million worth of items on loan to the State Library’s Museum of Connecticut History were not properly registered, according to a state audit. It also found that $215 million worth of fine art may not be entirely accounted for. The audit cited a lack of oversight and insufficient staffing for the missing items. The library responded to the missing items by claiming they will hire a new curator to improve assessments of museum collections.

The Asian Lunar New Year is now a public school holiday in New York. Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation over the weekend making New York the first state in the country to require public schools to close on the Lunar New Year holiday, starting in February.

A state Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Connecticut State Police Union that sought to block release of the names of troopers who wrote false or inaccurate traffic tickets. A recent audit found at least 130 state troopers entered nearly 26,000 erroneous tickets over the last decade. The decision to release the names is left with the state’s Freedom of Information Commission.

One of the nation’s largest insulin manufacturers has agreed to cap their prices for those uninsured New Yorkers for five years. State Attorney General Letitia James announced that the $35 monthly cap requires Novo Nordisk to team up with pharmacies to implement a program to notify uninsured patients that they are eligible for an insulin price cap. James found in an investigation that some patients needed to ration or forego doses because of high out-of-pocket costs. Eli Lilly and Sanofi have similar deals in place for New Yorkers.

Whiting Forensic Hospital will have to turn over a police report containing medical records under a decision from Connecticut’s Supreme Court. The ruling is in response to a state Freedom of Information Commission complaint issued by a Hartford Courant reporter who attempted to receive incident reports for deaths at the Whiting Forensic Hospital in 2017. The reporter was denied the request, because the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services claimed the report was privileged psychiatrist-patient communications. The disclosure to the public can contain redactions under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

A Suffolk County legislative candidate is denied placement on the November ballot. New York State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Whelan ruled that Democrat Sidney Joyner could not be on the ballot because he doesn’t live in the county’s 16th Legislative District in Huntington. Joyner was sued by a Republican voter in August after they found that Joyner didn’t live in the district, violating county charter. Joyner plans to appeal the ruling.

The cost of individual healthcare plans through Connecticut’s insurance marketplace and elsewhere will increase by an average of just over 9% next year. Small group plans will rise by over 7%. It was a compromise for state regulators after insurers sought nearly 15% rate hikes. These plans cover about 188,000 residents through Anthem Health Plans, CTCare Benefits and ConnectiCare Insurance Company.

A Babylon cannabis dispensary is on hold from opening after a state Supreme Court placed an injunction on its license. The injunction was issued in connection to a lawsuit against the rollout of New York’s legal marijuana marketplace. Happy Days dispensary license cannot be approved until the injunction is removed. Recent legal challenges such as these have delayed three dozen dispensaries on Long Island.

The first students are enrolled in New Haven’s Manufacturing and Community Technical Hub. The MATCH training facility on Mill Street is a new nonprofit manufacturing training program dedicated to building a skilled bilingual workforce. Students will receive paid training in different areas of contract manufacturing services.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.