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Michigan Senate approves bill to cover firefighters’ cancer bills

Posted at 12:22 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 12:22:12-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Firefighters with certain types of cancer might soon be able to charge the state for their medical expenses after the Michigan Senate approved a one-time appropriation.

The Senate unanimously approved $1 million to cover firefighters’ expenses on Thursday. But Senate Majority Leader and Republican Arlan Meekhof says he doesn’t know whether that is enough to cover the cost of firefighters’ current cancer bills.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation in January 2015 meant to cover cancer spurred by carcinogens they absorbed on the job.

Snyder said then that he was concerned because the bills lacked funding.

Earlier in March, FOX 17 discovered that more than a year after lawmakers created the cancer-coverage worker’s comp fund for firefighters, it remained empty.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration. A fiscal analysis says it would cover respiratory tract, bladder, skin, brain, kidney, blood, thyroid, testicular, prostate or lymphatic cancer.