LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Insurance coming to airport workers

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Health care benefits are coming to a number of airport workers at both John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports thanks to a new law authored by state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed S.6266D on New Year’s Eve intended to provide a supplemental wage benefit to airport workers so that they can afford to get health insurance.

“Long before COVID, mostly Black, brown and immigrant airport workers have served this state on the front lines without access to the health care they need to keep themselves and their families safe,” Biaggi said, in a release. “With the signing of my bill to enact the Healthy Terminals Act, these essential workers will finally have access to affordable health care coverage.”

Biaggi dedicated the new law to Leland Jordan, a baggage handler at JFK who was one of the first airport workers to die from complications associated with COVID-19.

“We will never be able to erase the pain of losing Leland and other beloved New Yorkers,” Biaggi said, “but in their memory, I am proud to say that we are building a better future for their colleagues with this bill finally written into law.”

 

Police, ICE can’t access COVID data

Contact tracers working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have to collect a lot of personal information in order to do their jobs, but a new law signed by Gov. Cuomo works to ensure that information stays confidential.

Cuomo signed S.8450-C/A 10500-C into law on Dec. 23 that would prohibit law and immigration enforcement from accessing any information compiled by COVID-19 contact tracers.

The bill was authored by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera along with Manhattan Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.

“Contact tracing is one of our most effective tools to combat COVID-19,” Rivera said, in a release. “This new law will ensure New Yorkers’ private information is protected from indiscriminate use by law enforcement or immigration authorities.”

The goal, lawmakers say, is to ensure everyone can provide information to contact tracers, including those targeted by authorities.

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