March 7, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) joined her colleagues in the Senate and House voting to pass a bill to establish a fund for Sandy Hook workers affected by the December 14, incident in Newtown.

“The life altering trauma and stress experienced by the teachers, police officers and fire fighters who witnessed and responded to this massive tragedy will never go away. For many responders their services were required for more than two days as there were 26 sandy hook school victims, 20 of whom were only 6 or 7 years old and shot multiple times. No amount of training could prepare any person for a massacre of such magnitude. These individual’s lives have been changed forever. This fund is the least we can do for these workers,” said Sen. Toni Boucher. “The special fund will assist individuals who suffered psychological trauma as a result of their work related to the Sandy Hook tragedy.”

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.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield), whose district includes Newtown, said, “As a community and as a legislature, we have an obligation to provide our neighbors – many of whom have witnessed unimaginable horror and violence – the resources they need to heal. The Sandy Hook Workers Fund is part of that effort. I’m pleased that we were able to work across party lines and partner with such an esteemed group of civic-minded Connecticut-based organizations to help launch this initiative.”

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.

Thus far corporate donations have been received from the following: AT&T, Dominion Resources, Covidien, NECTA- The New England Cable Television Association, through its member companies -Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Charter and MetroCast, WWE- Stephanie McMahon, CT Trial Lawyers, Northeast Utilities and the CT Bar Association.

To donate to the fund people can write checks to:
The Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund
C/O the State Treasurer’s Office
55 Elm Street, Hartford CT 06106