TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – A bill that gives Florida firefighters diagnosed with cancer certain new health benefits is now law.
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Governor Ron DeSantis signed CS/CS/SB 426 on Friday.
The law provides firefighters with any of 21 forms of cancer the full cost of treatment along with a $25,000 payout. It also grants disability pay and death benefits for beneficiaries.
The bill also treats cancer and cancer deaths like on-the-job injuries and deaths.READ MORE: Miami Beach Mayoral Race: Dan Gelber Seeking Third Term Against Four First-Time Candidates
According to a release sent out by the governor’s office, 70-percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths in 2016 were cancer-related, nationwide. With the signing of this legislation, Florida joins 45 other states that provide a cancer benefit to these first responders.
Governor DeSantis was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshall Jimmy Patronis.
“Here in Florida, we look after our first responders and I am honored to sign this bill to help ensure our firefighters who are battling cancer have the tools and benefits they need,” said Governor DeSantis. “These men and women are true heroes, who often are the first on scene and the last to leave during an emergency. I thank CFO Patronis for his steadfast support for this bill, as well as the Florida Legislature for unanimously supporting these brave public servants.”MORE NEWS: 62nd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Underway
Firefighters would have to be tobacco-free for at least five years before diagnosis to be eligible.