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A comprehensive bill that would provide workers compensation coverage under presumption for Montana firefighters with cancers and other ailments is headed to the state House of Representatives for a vote, after a Senate legislative committee took presumption for post-traumatic stress disorder off the table in February.
The Senate on Feb. 13 passed the version of S.B. 160 that crossed out language that would have cleared the red tape for current and retired firefighters diagnosed with PTSD — language included in the first version introduced Jan. 22. The House Business and Labor Committee approved that version Wednesday, according to updates posted on the Montana Legislature’s website.
The bill covers 12 conditions, including 11 cancers and heart blockages, and provides guidelines and exclusions for eligibility for several of them. For example, a firefighter with breast cancer is only covered if the firefighter has worked for more than five years, is under the age of 40 and is not genetically predisposed for the cancer.
The measure has not been placed on the calendar for vote.
Montana lawmakers are considering legislation that would add a tax to fireworks to fund workers compensation coverage for volunteer firefighters.