DeSantis Signs Firefighter Cancer Benefits Bill
Submitted by Nancy Smith on May 3, 2019 - 2:40pm
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed CS/CS/SB 426 Firefighters Friday, granting certain benefits to a firefighter upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer. (See photo below.)
Nationwide, 70 percent of firefighter line-of-duty deaths in 2016 were cancer-related. With the signing of this legislation, Florida joins 45 other states that provide a cancer benefit to these first responders. The governor was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Lt. Gov. 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 DeSantis. “These men and women are true heroes, who often are the first on the 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.”
Sen. Anitere Flores led the charge in the Legislature on this bill.
“This is an important day for our firefighters here in Florida, who day in and day out work tirelessly to protect our communities,” said Nuñez. “I am very proud to be a part of an administration that understands the importance of their work and recognizes the need to provide firefighters this additional support. It is well deserved.”
Added Patronis, “This marks an enormous victory for these brave men and women in their fight against cancer. Today, Florida tells every firefighter battling cancer, every firefighter afraid of getting cancer, and every child who dreams of being a firefighter that we are in their corner. I’m proud that we can now add Florida to the list of states that provides this essential benefit for firefighters. Thank you to the Florida Legislature for their unanimous passage of this bill and to Governor DeSantis for his support in signing this important legislation into law.”