State Senator Joan V. Hartley (D-Waterbury), Senate chair
of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee, helped
secure unanimous passage of Emergency Certified legislation creating
the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund to help those directly and most
severely impacted by events in Newtown last December 14th.

Senator Hartley said first responders, educators, and medical
personnel who were connected to the scene on December 14th and
December 15th will be among the beneficiaries of the legislation.

The program was established to provide financial assistance for time
lost from work due after experiencing the trauma of that day, Senator
Hartley explained. The initiative is also meant to help cover other
related medical expenses incurred but not covered by existing health

“This legislation is our humble attempt to assist those on the front
lines during and immediately after the horror that befell the Sandy
Hook community that Friday morning,” Senator Hartley said. “Today’s
unanimous votes in the Senate and the House underscore solidarity
among legislators to do all we can to help those who are
understandably impaired after their experiences working to help others
that fateful day.”

The fund itself will be comprised of gifts, donations, and grants from
both public and private sources. The fund will be administered by the
state Office of Victim Services.

“No teacher or school administrator ever expects to have to face the
terror of what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and even
though first responders and medical professionals are trained to
handle emergencies and crises, there is nothing that could ever
totally prepare them for the circumstances of that day,” Senator
Hartley said. “This legislation was prepared – and unanimously passed
– as a small measure of appreciation of that day’s first responders,
with hopes it helps them heal and recover from such a traumatic

Senator Hartley said the program established by this legislation will
begin accepting applications April 1, 2013; benefits will be paid
through August 31, 2015.