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Bill to provide more health coverage for firefighters passes Virginia Senate

RICHMOND, Va. – Legislation that would provide more health coverage for firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer was passed by the Virginia Senate Friday.

Senate Bill 1030 would add colon, brain, and testicular cancers “to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop cancer.

It would also make it easier for firefighters with cancer to get the help they need by removing the compensability requirement.

The bill, proposed by John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake), passed the Senate floor in a 39-1 vote.

Last week, hundreds of firefighters from across the Commonwealth marched two-miles through Richmond to support the legislation.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appeared at the end of the march to lend his support to the bill and added that a price cannot be put on someone’s life.

“These are the men and women that every day keep us safe in our communities and the least that we can do, I wouldn’t put a dollar figure on it,” Gov. Northam said last week.

Senate Bill 1030 will now head to the House. The bill’s House counterpart, HB 1804, still needs to be heard by the House Finance Committee.

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