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Va. bills expanding firefighter cancer coverage pass unanimously

The bills increase the list of cancer types that will be considered work-related when firefighters seek worker’s compensation


Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have passed bills expanding cancer coverage for firefighters seeking worker’s compensation.

Photo/Virginia General Assembly

By Laura French

RICHMOND, Va. — Both the Virginia Senate and House unanimously passed bills that would expand worker’s compensation coverage for firefighters with cancer.

Now that both the House and Senate versions of the bill have passed their respective chamber, at least one will need to pass the opposite chamber to head to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk, according to WYMT.

The bills add multiple types of cancer, including brain, colon and testicular cancer, to the list of conditions that are assumed work-related when firefighters seek worker’s compensation in the state.

Once the legislation is signed by the governor, firefighters will no longer need to go through lengths to prove exposure to toxins causing these cancers in order to receive compensation.

Previously, the Virginia Municipal League has opposed such bills due to concerns about costs to local governments. The unanimous votes come after a study requested by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in December 2018 recommended policy changes expanding the list of recognized work-related cancers.

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