Governor Cuomo vetoes volunteer first responder bill

Updated: 12/23/2013 6:46 PM
Created: 12/23/2013 5:40 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

The governor is standing up for businesses. There was a bill on his desk that would have made that a law. But Governor Cuomo vetoed it, saying it didn't have enough safe guards for business owners.

When disasters happen, like Hurricane Sandy, wildfires in the west and tornadoes in the Midwest, men and women, who are volunteer firefighters and EMTs, head out to help those in need.

Lawmakers were asking that during a state of emergency, first responders would be able to leave their paying jobs for an extended period of time and the employer would have to guarantee the volunteer's job would be there when they returned. 

The President of the Fireman's Association of New York State says it would be nice to have some job security for these first responders. Governor Cuomo disagreed and vetoed that bill. He says the bill has the right idea, but doesn't have enough safe guards for business owners.  

Governor Cuomo said, “We've had a lot of emergencies in this state and a lot more experience with emergencies than I would have liked to have, unfortunately we have had storms, Irene, Lee, Hurricane Sandy and the availability of emergency responders is key, obviously, having them trained and available. On the other hand, businesses have to have certainty and it can't just be that all employees have off, who are emergency responders, and the businesses don't have the ability to plan or make accomindations.”

Governor Cuomo says he plans to work with groups to get this bill revised and passed in the future.


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