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Ohio legislators passed a bill that would provide a workers compensation presumption for firefighters who develop cancer.
Senate Bill 27 would allow firefighters disabled by cancer to be eligible for workers comp benefits if the firefighter was assigned to at least six years of hazardous duty, according to a copy of the bill posted by the Ohio Legislature.
The bill is awaiting signature from Ohio Gov. John Kasich after it passed the Ohio House of Representatives in a 75-21 vote on Wednesday, as well as in a 31-1 vote in the Ohio Senate that day.
The bill says the presumption can be rebutted if evidence shows the firefighter was exposed to cigarettes and tobacco products outside of their official duties, if they developed cancer prior to joining a fire department, if the firefighter is 70 or older, or if the firefighter hasn't been assigned to hazardous duty in more than 20 years.
Ohio would join 36 other states that have workers comp cancer presumption laws for firefighters if S.B. 27 is signed into law, according to a statement Thursday from Ohio state Rep. Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D-Parma).
Recent tragedies and medical research have prompted several states to consider expanding their workers compensation presumption laws for public employees.