On the day after Thanksgiving, Govenor Ed Rendell vetoed House Bill 1231 which would have amended the Workers Compensation Laws in Pennslyvania to provide protection for firefighters exposed to specific types of carcinogens. This bill was otherwise known as the Firefighter Cancer Presumption Bill. . This bill was passed by both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly with only 3 negative votes in the House and 4 negative votes in the Senate. Governor Rendell is the first governor since Lawton Chiles from Flordia to veto a Cancer Presumption Bill for firefighters since the mid 1990's. Ironicly, Governor Rendell's former law firm represents the law firm which lobbied to keep this bill from becoming law. Governor-elect Corbett has said he will sign the bill if passed while he is in office.
The following is a message from the P.P.F.F.A. President on the veto......
Brothers and Sisters:
Today, Governor Rendell vetoed House Bill 1231, the fire fighter cancer presumption legislation. The Governor waited until the Saturday after Thanksgiving to make this ill advised move. The timing of his veto was gauged to keep us from making any concerted attempts towards an override. The PPFFA is very aware of the political process, but it is unbelievable that an anti fire fighter governor can thumb his nose at a piece of legislation that has had only 8 negative votes since its inception! The last time we checked we found that we still live in a democracy and when you have over 90 percent of the states elected representatives voting in bi-partisan favor of a bill that will give some comfort to terminally ill fire fighters and some financial assistance to fire fighters widows and children it’s more than cold hearted, it’s criminal.
I can assure you that we will be back with this legislation, the IAFF is involved and our friends in the PA Senate and House are on-board. It may have taken us 25 years to get here, but we’re here to stay. This setback is just that a setback, we have tenacity and resolve, if the Governor and his political cronies don’t believe that they’re sorely and sadly mistaken. The giant that is the Pennsylvania Fire Service is just starting to rise. While our opponents in the various associations that were opposed to this legislation tout that they have representatives in 900 communities in the state, we have them in 3500 boroughs, cities and townships. We will foster that political power and with your assistance move our agenda forward.
Fire Fighters Association
2048 Derry Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
333 Meadow Drive
Johnstown, PA 15905