Local elected officials are urging the passage of a new bill to compensate not only those who worked in the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site, but also those who lived in lower Manhattan on September 11th.
Hundreds have claimed illness from inhaling smoke and dust in the aftermath of the terror attacks.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Carolyn Maloney are sponsoring a bill that would give those sickened financial compensation and adequate health care.
"We have an undeniable, moral obligation to provide the health care and treatment that these men and women deserve, not only for their bravery, not only for their courage, but for the fact they were there when no one else was there to do a very difficult job," Gillibrand said.
The bill also expands victims' medical care, with a total pricetag of $11 billion.
"By returning to Lower Manhattan and embracing the process of recovery and rebuilding, the community made sure that the terrorists did not win," Maloney said.
However, some rescue workers have the option of accepting a recently-decided settlement prohibiting them from taking advantage of the financial perks of Gillibrand's bill.
That bill recently passed a House Committee, and a hearing will be held June 29th.