Arizona Senate Passes Bill Boosting Firefighter Cancer Workers’ Comp Coverage

February 18, 2020

The Arizona Senate has passed a bill designed to boost protections for firefighters and other first responders who are diagnosed with cancers linked to the workplace.

The proposal from Republican Sen. Heather Carter ensures that listed cancers contracted by firefighters are irrefutably covered by workers compensation insurance. The proposal tightens rules enacted in 2017 that said certain cancers were presumed to be caused by workplace exposures.

Several Republican lawmakers argued against the measure during a lengthy floor debate Wednesday. They said the costs to cities and towns were unknown and could be high. They also said family history or outside work exposures that were shown to have caused the cancers could no longer be taken into account.

Carter countered that the costs were minimal and that insurance companies were unfairly denying coverage.

The bill passed on a 25-4 vote and now goes to the House.

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