FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- State Sen. Tony Hwang of Fairfield was recognized as the 2016 Co-Legislator of the Year by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut during a recent ceremony in New Britain.
The award recognizes Hwang’s efforts in helping craft legislation that provides wage replacement benefits to all eligible paid and volunteer firefighters diagnosed with specified cancers.
Hwang, the ranking Republican senator on the Labor and Public Employees Committee, was part of a firefighter working group that consisted of Republican and Democrat legislators, the Connecticut Council of Municipalities, the Council of Small Towns, municipal leaders and the firefighter unions.
“This is a groundbreaking proposal which protects the men and women who ensure our safety,” 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 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.
“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.”
Hwang represents Connecticut’s 28th Senatorial District, including Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.
“This legislation is the product of many hours of productive discussions on how to tackle a public policy problem,” 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.”
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