Assembly Leader Pushes for Good Samaritan Legislation to Help After Natural Disasters

By Dari Kotzker

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald at a press conference calling for the passage of Good Samaritan legislation. Photo by Dari Kotzker.

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald held a press conference today calling for Good Samaritan legislation to improve the state’s ability to respond to large-scale natural disasters. The bill would bolster safety inspections capacity in the aftermath of disasters like Sandy, and supporters say the initiative would help since local governments can get overwhelmed in situations like Superstorm Sandy.

Bill A-3694 would shield licensed architects and professional engineers from liability when they volunteer their services in response to a natural disaster. The criteria under the bill is that the licensed architects and professional engineers provide services voluntarily and without compensation; at the request of federal, state or local public safety officials acting in their official capacity; at the scene of a declared national, state or local emergency caused a major disaster; and during a limited period of time after the disaster (90 days).

Greenwald says 26 other states have already enacted similar legislation and he hopes this bill will be moved during the legislature’s lame duck session.