The following was released by State Rep. Joseph Aresimowicz, the House Majority Leader, on Wednesday evening:
The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation (HB 6599) introduced by House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Southington & Berlin) that creates a special fund to assist individuals who suffered psychological trauma as a result of their work related to the Sandy Hook tragedy.
“This is simply the right thing to do. Now those suffering from mental health issues because of the tragedy at Sandy Hook can receive the help they need without causing an undue financial burden on themselves or their families,” said Aresimowicz. “Moving forward, I’m committed to looking at our state’s workers’ compensation law that treats mental illness differently than physical ailments.”
The Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund will be funded through private donations and provide support to volunteer and professional workers who are suffering from mental health issues as a result of the tragedy. Traditional workers compensation does not currently cover most workers for exclusively mental injuries.
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Aresimowicz added that anyone interested in contributing or learning more about the fund should contact him at Joe.Aresimowicz@cga.ct.gov or (860) 240-8489.
Those eligible for benefits from the fund include first responders, school employees, as well as other professionals and volunteers involved in the Sandy Hook response or investigation.
The fund will be administered by the Office of Victim Services (OVS) within the Judicial branch, with the state Treasurer managing its assets. The Treasurer will be authorized to accept donations directly, and charitable organizations will also be able to take donations on behalf of the fund.
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