'Cancer bill' for NY volunteer firefighters goes into effect

The so-called "cancer bill" that volunteer firefighters have been trying to get passed for years has gone into effect.

News 12 Staff

Jan 2, 2019, 5:11 PM

Updated 1,974 days ago

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The so-called "cancer bill" that volunteer firefighters have been trying to get passed for years has gone into effect.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law late last year, and it went into effect Jan. 1. It's a gap insurance policy, paid for by local taxpayers, that every volunteer fire department is now required to carry for each member.
The policy provides tax-free disability and death benefits to volunteers with five years of service if they're diagnosed with specific cancers covered under the new law.
Other states have similar laws for their volunteer firefighters, but New York's version does not cover all types of cancer. Until Jan. 1, only paid firefighters in New York had a cancer coverage benefit.
Tom McDonough, a cancer survivor and former chief of the Port Washington Fire Department, says the new law is a good first step. But he also called it a "compromise" and says he won't stop fighting for more coverage.
"With this measure, we will provide these courageous New Yorkers the protections they need and the peace of mind they deserve," Cuomo said in a statement.
There are an estimated 96,000 volunteer firefighters in New York state.


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