ID Senate Votes to Protect Firefighters | Health
Idaho senators passed a bill Monday that would better protect firefighters who contract cancer.
The legislation would help the state's nearly 1,000 firefighters get workers compensation for all diseases they say result from battling burning, smoke-filled structures. Supporters cite medical research that suggests firefighters suffer from cancer in disproportionate numbers. Senator Curt McKenzie of Boise sponsored the bill. He says without such presumption in the law, firefighters have little chance of getting their diseases covered by workers comp.
Sen. John Goedde of Coeur d'Alene opposes the bill. He fears workers in other hazardous professions will seek similar protection from lawmakers.
Similar legislation has passed in 40 other states, but has struggled to get support in Idaho in recent years.