State senator looks to reverse policy that denied widow her husband's pension

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BREWSTER -

State Sen. Pete Harckham is trying to change a law that would allow a widow to collect their spouse's pension.

Judy Lynch's husband James was months from retirement when he found out he had lung cancer. He died just weeks after being diagnosed.

"We never got that retirement together, we planned it, we knew where it was going to be, we knew what we were going to do, but time ran out," says Lynch.

Time ran out for the Brewster man to file for his retirement, and Lynch was later denied his pension as a state Department of Transportation employee of 25 years.

Harckham is sponsoring a bill that passed unanimously in the Senate Wednesday that would give Judy her late husband's pension.

After Harckham took office, he filed the bill that is now headed to the Assembly for approval. He says he is working on a broader bill to change the policy that lead to the pension denial.

Lynch's story received attention when she first spoke to News 12 over a year ago. Now she says she hope what happened to her doesn't happen to another widower.

"I'm glad I could put up the fight, and I'm glad that News 12 helped me do that, because it wouldn't have happened without you guys," says Lynch.

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