August 30, 2012
California lawmakers have sent the governor a contentious bill that would make it easier for dependents of police officers and firefighters to collect workers' compensation benefits after their death.
The Assembly approved the bill 51-18 Tuesday.
AB2451, by Assembly Speaker John Perez, would double the period in which death benefits could be claimed to almost nine years. The benefits apply to police and firefighters diagnosed with conditions such as cancer that are presumably job-related.
Republican critics called the bill an unaffordable giveaway to politically powerful unions. GOP Assemblyman Chris Norby of Fullerton said it pushes the notion of a death benefit too far.
Perez, a Los Angeles Democrat, said the state should take care of those who expose themselves to toxic chemicals for the good of the community.