New legislation proposed by Rep. Anthony Weiner called the First Responder Reimbursement Act aims to help public safety workers called up to active duty.
According to a report by Weiner (D-Forest Hills), city police officers, firefighters and municipal workers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have missed more than 912,000 days of work since 2001.
“Dozens of New York families have lost loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Weiner said. “But all New Yorkers have paid in economic price for this foreign policy folly.”
City taxpayers have shelled out $148 million in salaries for municipal workers deployed overseas, according to the report which analyzed city payroll data.
According to Weiner, when city employees are called up for active duty, they forfeit their regular paychecks for military
paychecks which are often less money.
In an effort to help those employees from experiencing financial hardship, the city has established a program to make up the difference in income. Those called to active duty would refund the city the lesser of the two paychecks, allowing them to keep the higher of the two.
Under the proposed act, the federal government would reimburse state or local governments for losses incurred when a city employee, who works in public safety or as a first responder and serves active duty for more than 30 days.
BY THE NUMBERS
•912,862: days of work missed while on military leave by city employees since 9/11.
•$164,307,597: amount paid to city employees on leave since the war began
•396: number of city employees currently on leave.
Source: Report by Anthony Weiner