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It appears no one cares about disabled workers

I guess that “sex sells.” Everybody seems interested in the sexual harassment allegations against a local assemblyman, but few people are interested in the injustice that was committed by the state of New York against a local, disabled former state worker. After devoting almost 20 years of her life to serving the children of New York, this worker became totally disabled. She met all the requirements to receive a state disability retirement pension, but the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System, under the auspices of the State Comptroller’s Office, denied her the pension. They kept the money.

Sens. George Maziarz and Mark Grisanti and Assemblymen Dennis Gabryzsak and Ray Walter recognized the injustice and sponsored a bill in their respective houses to allow the disabled worker to receive the benefits she should have received. In 2012 and 2013, the bill passed unanimously in the Senate. What happened in the Assembly? In 2012 and 2013, the bill was killed in Assemblyman Peter Abbate’s committee. The worker asked Speaker Sheldon Silver for help, but got none.

Mention the word “sex,” and everybody is interested. Mention the word “disability,” and few people care.

Lois Reid

Amherst