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ASSEMBLY OKS DISABILITY PAY HIKE; SENATE BALKS

The State Assembly passed a measure Wednesday to raise benefits for employees who get hurt on the job by up to $225 a week, but sponsors were unable to work out differences on the bill with the Republican-controlled Senate.

The package would boost worker's compensation benefits from the current $150 a week for partial disability to $375 a week on Jan. 1, 1991.

Benefits for total disability, which are higher now, would rise more slowly so both categories would settle at $375 in 1991.

"Injured workers are suffering now, as we speak with inadequate compensation," said Assemblyman Frank Barbaro, D-Brooklyn. "The contentious question of employer liability can be put on the table as a separate issue, but let us not delay in providing fair compensation to those who need it now."

The measure, as passed, will not win Senate approval because Barbaro could not agree with his counterpart, Sen. James Lack, R-Hauppauge, on the legislation.

"We've got one big problem with the Assembly bill," Lack said, referring to the employer liability issue. "After we get past that roadblock, we could probably settle our differences in just a couple of hours."

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