ME Gov. Signs Firefighter WC Legislation

Augusta, ME (CompNewsNetwork) - Governor John E. Baldacci today ceremonially signed LD 621, An Act Allowing Workers' Compensation Benefits for Firefighters Who Contract Cancer. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Phil Bartlett (D-Cumberland).

The law in certain situations allows firefighters who contract cancer to be allowed the benefits of workers compensation. The law applies to firefighters who have been employed as such for at least five years, and to retired firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer within 10 years of their last active employment as a firefighter.

"Firefighters have one of the most dangerous professions imaginable," Governor Baldacci said. "They place themselves in harm's way. This bill recognizes that some physical dangers include inhaling carcinogens that may contribute to cancer. The bill makes sense and I am proud to honor our firefighters for their dedication and selflessness in serving all the citizens of Maine."

The ceremonial signing occurred in the Governor's Office with many firefighters, co-sponsors and supporters of the legislation present. The law will take effect on September 12, which is 90 days after the close of the legislative session.

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