Recent Legislation Which Failed to Pass
Two important bills which were introduced into the New York City legislature failed of passage at the last session. One of these was the State Disabled Firemen’s Relief Bill which was lost in the Senate Finance Committee. This bill amended article 7 and sections 70 and 71 of chapter 56 of the laws of 1909 by inserting a new article in relation to creating the New York State Disabled Firemen’s Commission, defining its powers and duties and making an appropriation therefor. The bill as introduced provided for a commission of five persons, two of whom were to be appointed by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York and three by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. This commission was to have had sole administration of the payment of relief to injured or disabled firemen and to the widows, children and dependents of firemen who die from injuries received while in the performance of their duties. The members were to serve without pay but were to be allowed their actual traveling and other expenses in the performance of their official duties. The commission was given power to appoint and remove necessary employees for the conduct of its business, giving firemen preference in making such appointments. Three members of the commission were to constitute a quorum to transact business. Sections 72 and 73 defined persons entitled to relief and the amounts to be paid, as follows:
§ 72. Persons entitled to relief. Every fireman, including firemen known as “permanent men” and “call man,” in active service in a regularly organized fire department of a city, village or town of this state; ami every officer or member in active service in an incorporated protective association acting in concert with any of such fire departments; and every person doing fire duty at the request or by the order of the authorities of a town which has no organized fire department; and every person performing the duties of a fireman in any such town, who is injured while responding to, working at or returning from an alarm of fire, and the widow, children and dependent persons of any such firemen or person who may be killed or shall die within sixty days from the injuries received, while in the performance of his duties as a fireman, as aforesaid, shall be entitled to receive the relief provided by the provisions of this article.
§ 73. Amount. Every person entitled to the relief provided by this article shall receive the following amounts:
- If the person is killed while in active duty or dies within sixty days from the injuries received, the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars shall be paid, (a) if the deceased leave a widow and minor children, to the widow for the sole use of herself and such minor children; (b) if there be no widow, but deceased leaves minor children, to the general guardian of such children for the sole use of the children; and (c) if there be no widow or minor children, but deceased leaves a person or persons dependent upon him. to such dependent person, or persons, if of full age, and if not to his or their general guardian.
- If any such fireman or person is injured he shall receive an amount equal to the amount of his daily pay which he would have earned if not injured, but not to exceed one hundred days from the date of his injury, provided, however, that no such injured person shall receive any such benefit while his regular salary or wage is being paid; and provided, further, that the commission may. if moneys therefor are available, in exceptional cases, extend the time of the payments of relief beyond the one hundred days, as hereinbefore specified.
The appropriation called for in the bill was $35,000 or as much thereof as might have been necessary.
The other measure providing for the two-platoon system in third class cities was withdrawn after being introduced, on account of its being unconstitutional, as it clashed with the proposed Home Rule enactment. However, it is suggested by Frank A. Emden. secretary-treasurer of the New York State Permanent Firemen’s Association, that this plan could be put to referendum of the cities of the state that at present are not working on a two-platoon system. The officers of the legislative committee of the association, according to Mr. Emden, are at present working with the office of the attorney general in regard to plans for a petition for a referendum to be presented at the coming election.
The home rule enabling act which provides a mandatory referendum as to the minimum wage of $2,500 for firemen and which also protects the pension system by the provision of a referendum through the signature of the citizens, is now in the hands of Governor Smith. Another act passed by the legislature prohibits any city changing the pension system relating to the fire department of such city. A new section which this bill adds to the law reads as follows:
“No. 208. Police and fire pension funds not subject to local legislative action. In every city of the State now having or hereafter establishing in connection with the police or fire department of such city a pension or retirement fund or system, the law relating to such fund or system shall not be subject to change or modification by the board of aldermen, common council, council, or local legislative body.”
Pumper Ordered for Amenia, N. Y.—The fire department of Amenia, N. Y., will add a new Foamite-Childs triple combination car to its equipment.