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The West Virginia House of Representatives is considering a bill that would presume that certain kinds of cancers and specific respiratory ailments suffered by firefighters are work-related after the Senate passed the measure on a 33-0 vote Tuesday.
S.B. 82, introduced by Sen. Ryan Ferns, R-Wheeling, amends the state’s workers compensation laws to include “rebuttable presumptions for certain injuries and diseases for professional firefighters; setting eligibility criteria for rebuttable presumptions; setting expiration of rebuttable presumption regarding leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma arising out of and in the course of employment as a firefighter on July 1, 2023, absent legislative action to the contrary; allowing coverage to employees for occupational pneumoconiosis or other occupational disease for work performed out of state under certain conditions,” according to the latest draft of the bill.
Firefighters under 65 who have been in fire service for at least five years and who have not smoked in 10 years would fall under the presumption clause, according to the draft.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday announced his support for a bill that would clear the way to provide workers compensation benefits for firefighters who get cancer.