New York lawmakers Kirsten Gillibrand, Carolyn Maloney and Anthony Weiner came to Ground Zero today to announce progress toward getting a stalled 9/11 health bill passed.
A hearing has finally been scheduled for the Senate Health committee, to take place on June 29.
"This a crucial step in the legislative process, so that we can pass this legislation and get the resources that we need," Gillibrand said.
Weiner says that the bill has received bi-partisan backing.
"We've gotten support from a fair number of Republicans, who perhaps don't generally vote with New York interests, so we're optimistic that if we get this to a vote, it's going to pass," he said.
The proposed bill would:
-Allocate $5 billion for health monitoring and treatment benefits for 9/11 responders, recovery workers and even area residents.
-Increase the number of people eligible for compensation under the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 to include workers harmed during debris removal and extend the deadline for claims for compensation.
-Create a program to collect data and conduct research on physical and mental health conditions potentially related to the September 11 attacks.
In the House of Representatives, a similar measure has already made it out of committee and could come up for a full vote in the next several weeks.