During a Sep. 6 ceremony in New Britain, Sen. Tony Hwang was recognized as the 2016 Co-Legislator of the Year by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.
The award recognizes Sen. Hwang’s efforts in helping craft legislation which provides wage replacement benefits to all eligible paid and volunteer firefighters diagnosed with specified cancers.
Sen. Hwang, the ranking Republican senator on the Labor and Public Employees Committee, was part of a firefighter working group which consisted of Republican and Democrat legislators, the Connecticut Council of Municipalities (CCM), the Council of Small Towns (COST), municipal leaders and the firefighter unions.
“This is a groundbreaking proposal which protects the men and women who ensure our safety,” Sen. Hwang said. “It was an honor for me to have been asked by critical shareholders to participate in the year-long bipartisan working group which led to the crafting of this important policy. We are helping Connecticut firefighters who are diagnosed and recovering from job-related cancers, and we are doing so without adding new financial burdens on cities, towns, and local property taxpayers.”
Peter Carozza, President of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters of CT (UPFFA-CT) who represents 65 locals and over 4,000 firefighters in Connecticut, presented the award. “This legislation finally gives protection to Connecticut’s firefighters and is long overdue,” Carozza said. Carozza praised the work of the ‘Cancer Legislation Committee’ who worked for months on drafting this legislation and specifically thanked Sen. Hwang and Reps. Michelle Cook and David Rutigliano, who were key members of the working committee.
“With this law in place, firefighters won’t have to worry about losing their insurance or losing their house,” said UPFFA-CT Legislative Director Rick Hart. “This truly was a bipartisan effort and we feel it is a great example of what can be accomplished when labor and municipalities work together to protect their common interests.”
“This legislation is the product of many hours of productive discussions on how to tackle a public policy problem,” Sen. Hwang said. “Our talks brought together different viewpoints in order to bring about common sense solutions. With this proposal, we have accomplished that goal. This legislation is a great example of working together to find valued solutions to help our community.”
Attached photo, left to right: Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut President Peter Carozza, Sen. Hwang and Fairfield Firefighters Association Local 1426 Executive Board President Bob Smith. The Fairfield Fire Fighters Association (www.iaff1426.org) represents the career fire fighters, fire mechanics, and fire master mechanics of the Fairfield Fire Department and the career fire fighters of the Easton Fire Department. Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov . On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com.