A New York bill to create a presumption of heart disease for corrections officers and sheriff’s deputies participating in the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System was vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday.
The bipartisan measure, Assembly Bill 4607, would have amended New York’s pension law and Social Security law to state that any heart disease suffered by corrections officers, corrections supervisors, deputy sheriff’s patrolmen or deputy sheriff’s patrol supervisors should be considered presumptive injuries eligible for state benefits.
Companion legislation in the Senate, S8558, also met the governor’s veto.
Sponsors of the measure said the enactment was necessary because corrections officers and sheriff̵7;s deputies have a statistically high incidence of death or disability from heart disease due to the nature and stress of their jobs.
Under the bill, a heart disease diagnosis given to qualified employees would have been presumptive evidence that the impairment arose in the performance and performance of their law enforcement duties unless proven otherwise.
A veto message from the governor was not readily available, and the governor’s press office did not respond to a reporter’s request.
One of the sponsors, Assemblyman William Colton, said he believes the governor vetoed the bill because of financial concerns.
“I think it was a budget issue,” Colton said. “Maybe we need to make a stronger case.”
Colton said a supermajority in both legislative chambers could theoretically override the veto, but it’s more likely lawmakers will have to revise the bill’s wording next year to make it “a little more palatable to the executive branch.”