House backs additional coverage for firefighters with cancer

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lawmakers want fire departments to provide additional insurance coverage for firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer.

Tuesday's House vote comes months after Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed changes to state workers' compensation law letting firefighters diagnosed with cancer make a financial claim.

Local governments feared that approach was too expensive.

Groups representing local governments and firefighters met this year to compromise. The House approved the resulting bill, 171 yes votes to 1. It goes to the Senate.

Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville, says the change shows firefighters that lawmakers recognize dangers they face.

The bill requires that firefighters working for at least a year with a department receive a lump payment if diagnosed with certain cancers. It also requires a monthly benefit if a firefighter is unable to keep working.