PNS Daily Newscast - July 3, 2020 

Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

2020Talks - July 3, 2020 

Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

Six Years Later, Relief May Be in Sight for 9/11 Workers and Residents

September 11, 2007

New York – New relief may be on its way for rescue workers, residents and others affected by the September 11th attacks at New York's World Trade Center. A bipartisan bill in the U.S. House would provide medical monitoring and treatment for those who suffered through exposure to hazardous chemicals. Democrat Carolyn Maloney is a cosponsor of the "9/11 Health and Compensation Act.”

"It expands care to the whole exposed community; not just the first responders, the police and fire. It would also include residents, area workers, school children, federal workers, and the thousands of people who responded from across the country."

The bill also reopens the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund for victims of toxic exposure. Critics argue current laws are a roadblock to the efforts of more than 10,000 responders, who have been unable to collect from a federal fund for workers' compensation claims. Many responders have joined a class-action lawsuit for reimbursements from the billion-dollar fund. Kia Franklin is with the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.

"Of the $1 billion, so far $74 million has been spent. But, that money has not been spent on worker compensation claims, rather it has been spent on legal fees to fight the worker compensation claims and overhead costs. So folks are asking, 'What's this money for? Why is it sitting there?'"

Republican cosponsor Vito Fossella says the new law would remove roadblocks to health care for residents and workers, and that's the right thing to do for past and future responders.

"When people and volunteers and others rush into a situation that demands a national response, they should have access to treatment. Until there is a better idea, this seems to be the best approach."

Robert Knight/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NY