Occupational diseases targeted in Nevada bill

(AP) - Benefits for Nevada public safety workers who become ill from presumed occupational diseases would be restricted under a bill pending before a Senate committee.

SB135 was introduced by Sen. Dean Rhoads at the request of the Nevada Taxpayers Association.

Under existing law, certain illnesses such as cancer and lung disease are presumed to be occupational diseases for firefighters, police and arson investigators if they were employed for at least five years in those professions in Nevada. Compensation includes treatment costs and other benefits. There is no time limit for when a diagnosis is made.

The taxpayers' group told a Senate panel Wednesday that Nevada is the only state with an open-ended provision for such benefits, making it impossible to calculate liabilities.

The bill was referred Wednesday to a subcommittee.


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