Georgia Governor Nathan Deal visited Fire House 1 in Gilmer County Thursday to officially sign House Bill 146 known as the “Firefigher’s Cancer Insurance Bill.”
Joined by several officials including Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Senator Steve Gooch, author of the bill Micah Gravley, District 67 Representative, opened the ceremony by speaking about the two year effort to bring the bill to this point. Gravley related his interactions with two firefighters, Frank Martinez and Brian Scutter, who he said were the honor of the Bill as they fought for and spoke with legislators to get the bill passed, as well as the appropriateness to have the signing in Scutter’s home station in Gilmer County. Scutter was also mentioned by Speaker Ralston who said he had made a promise to Brian that he would give all that was in him to bring this day about. Turning to face Scutter, Ralston said, “I kept my promise.”
Governor Nathan Deal, who originally vetoed last year’s Bill 216 called the new House Bill 146 an “innovative and great solution to the situation.” Deal said the Bill provides relief for firefighters by providing a different method for compensation and money for treatment and care for firefighters who contract cancers during their work. Gravley thanked the Governor for his support of, as he called it, a “better bill.”
The sentiment was echoed by Speaker Ralston who said, “We have arrived at a better solution. By requiring a local government to provide insurance to our firefighters for certain types of cancer, the firefighter can skip the process of litigating a worker’s comp claim. This will allow the firefighter to focus on getting better and recovery rather than having to worry about legal bills and depositions and hearings.”
FYN caught up with Speaker Ralston and Governor Deal to ask them to elaborate on why the bill is better, comparative to last years Bill 216. The Speaker replied saying, “This uses a Health Insurance Model as opposed to a Workman’s Comp model which means instead of having to make a claim and perhaps go through a court type process to get benefits and income, Firefighters in this case will file a claim just like health insurance.”
Governor Deal also spoke on the insurance versus workman’s comp comparison saying it was an awkward and “adversarial way of deciding whether or not compensation is owed.” Deal went on to say the newer Bill is a much better solution “to provide insurance coverage that will define benefits and give some flexibility as to deciding the compensation that will be given to firefighters.”
More than Senators and Congressman came to see Deal sign the Bill, though. Several representatives from neighboring and local emergency services attended the event including Gilmer’s own Director of Public Safety Tony Pritchett who said the Bill “gives you a sense of protection… You can lay your head down and sleep better at night knowing that if you contract cancer because of the job, there’s some protection that will take care of you and your family.”
For more on the Signing of House Bill 146 watch the full ceremony below or find more Photos in our Album:
Sam Snider and David Ralston speak on FYN’s Candidate Day for the citizens on the eve of the election day.
Candidate for Georgia State House 7th District Representative Sam snider sits down with BKP to speak about citizens and legislation.
Congressman Doug Collins, Representative from the 9th District in Georgia, is wasting no time going after his opponent, Dr. Paul Broun, former Representative from the 10th District.
Broun, along with Roger Fitzpatrick, Bernie Fontaine, and Mike Scupin, has announced his candidacy challenging Collins in the 9th District congressional race. Collins has not acknowledged the other candidates but his campaign released a scorching radio ad about Paul Broun.
Below is part of the transcript from the ad posted by the AJC:
Collins: “I’m Doug Collins and I approve this message….”
Narrator: “Career politician Paul Broun. Former congressman Broun’s hypocrisy is bad, but Paul Broun’s repeated abuse of the taxpayers’ money is even worse.
“Paul Broun claims to be an outsider. But Paul Broun’s been on the ballot 12 times in 26 years for six different political positions. He’s so desperate to further his political career, Broun’s now campaigning for Congress in a district he doesn’t even live in.
“While Paul Broun’s hypocrisy knows no bounds, Broun’s abuse of taxpayer’s money is even worse. In Congress, Broun nearly bankrupted his office budget with an excessive amount of taxpayer-funded mail.And now, former congressman Paul Broun is under a federal criminal investigation into his use of taxpayer money to aid his failed U.S. Senate campaign.
“Career politician Paul Broun’s hypocrisy is bad, but Paul Broun’s abuse of the taxpayers’ money is even worse.”
Broun made the following statement to FetchYourNews.com concerning the attack radio ad from the Collins Campaign:
The ad is false! I’m a doctor, not a career politician. I have never misused government funds. I am not and have not to my knowledge ever been under a criminal investigation. I would expect a Southern Baptist preacher not to do this (ad). The last time I checked God’s Ten Commandments are still in effect. The 9th says Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Maybe God told Mr Collins that The Big 10 don’t apply to him or his campaign.
Since both Dr. Paul Broun and Congressman Doug Collins are Christians it will be interesting to see how much religious mud will be slung during this campaign.
BKP talks with State Representative Rick Jasperse about the Campus Safety Act and its role in protecting students.