Firefighter cancer bill passes Senate Finance Committee, moves on to Senate floor

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 17:38:25-05

RICHMOND, Va. - Firefighters across the state are celebrating a victory in Richmond.

On Tuesday,  Senate Bill 1030, which would add more cancers to the Workers' Compensation Law, passed the Senate Finance Committee in a 14-2 vote. For firefighters, the win is a major milestone. Last year, it's where the bill died.

"That was a big hurdle yesterday," explained Kurt Detrick, President of the Portsmouth Professional Firefighters & Paramedics Association, Local 539. "Getting out of Senate Finance was a big hurdle; it’s a tough committee to get bills through."

The bill will add colon, brain and testicular to the list of covered cancers under the Workers' Compensation Law. It would also fix an issue with the law. Representatives to make it easier for firefighters with cancer to get the help they need.

Now that SB 1030 has passed the Senate Finance Committee, it will go to the Senate floor for an official vote.

Tomorrow, the Senate bill's House counterpart, HB 1804, will be heard in the House Finance Committee.

"We are hoping that all the delegates in the sub-committee tomorrow will support the bill just like it was in the Senate yesterday," said Detrick.

To help the House Finance Committee pass HB 4804, Detrick is asking for the community's support.

"We are asking all the citizens of Virginia to contact their delegate and senator. We are asking for support and to help pass SB 1030 and HB 1804."