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Could volunteer firefighters get permanent benefits in New York?

The New York state Senate has passed legislation that seeks to strengthen health benefits for volunteer firefighters in the state.

The legislation aims to make permanent the 2006 law that provides lung health care benefits for volunteer firefighters facing lung disabilities. The current law has a sunset clause, which means it expires every two years. In contrast, similar health benefits for full-time firefighters do not face an expiration every two years. If the measure is signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, it could aid more than 80,000 volunteer firefighters in the state.


The legislation cleared the Democratic-led state Senate this week, and now heads to the state Assembly for final approval.

The measure could streamline access to health benefits for volunteer firefighters, who often incur major diseases and ailments while protecting residents and businesses. The proposed law would eliminate the sunset clause and make it easier for volunteer firefighters to access the health benefits they deserve.