Firefighters left the State Capitol last year in a fury over the refusal of House leaders to call a vote on legislation providing them lost-wage coverage for work-related cancers. Just after midnight Wednesday, they watched a bipartisan compromise pass unanimously with the blessing of the municipalities that once thwarted them.
Expanded workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters with cancer, an issue derailed in the Connecticut General Assembly last year by a loud and bitter lobbying battle between municipalities and labor, seems likely to be resolved by a bipartisan-led compromise.
Expanded workers’ compensation coverage for police and firefighters, one of the most heavily lobbied issues of the 2015 session, is likely to die from inaction in the House of Representatives, legislative leaders said Wednesday.
The Senate voted 25 to 11 early Friday for legislation expanding workers’ compensation for police and firefighters, overcoming complaints that the new unfunded mandates would be financially ruinous to cities and towns in Connecticut.
The House Republican minority controls the fate of a heavily lobbied labor bill that would expand workers’ compensation coverage in Connecticut by declaring some forms of cancer to be an occupational hazard of firefighting. The GOP is expected to offer a compromise to a bill strenuously opposed by cities and towns.