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Firefighters gain cancer insurance under new law

Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday signed into law a measure that offers Georgia firefighters added insurance benefits should they contract cancer while on the job. 

Deal signed House Bill 146 at a firehouse in Ellijay along side House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who made the bill a top priority this past legislative session. 

“Today we celebrate the culmination of over two years of effort to support our firefighters and their families,” Ralston said. “While this process may have taken longer than we would have liked, the good news is that we have arrived at a better solution.”

Deal vetoed a similar bill last year that would have made cancer-stricken firefighters eligible for workers compensation. This year’s bill, however, is a compromise between the state, firefighters, cities and counties.

It more closely matches similar laws in 39 other states.

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Currently, firefighters who get sick may lose their jobs and health insurance.

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