Nevada governor signs firefighter cancer health benefits bill |

Nevada governor signs firefighter cancer health benefits bill

Nevada firefighters will be covered for certain forms of cancer considered occupational hazards, under a bill signed into law by Gov. Kenny Guinn.

AB451 clearly states that certain cancers contracted by firefighters are occupational diseases covered by the state’s insurance plans.

Legislators considering the bill heard emotional testimony from former Carson City and North Las Vegas firefighter William Harnedy, who is dying of cancer. He told the panels that while the legislation may not help him, it would aid others in his situation.

Harnedy said his claims for state benefits were delayed or rejected following his 2001 cancer diagnosis.

Assemblyman John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, who worked as a firefighter with Harnedy, pushed for the change, saying existing law was unclear.

Insurers originally objected to the bill, but backed off after language was added in the Senate specifying that any claim of on-the-job exposure to carcinogens is rebuttable in court. The Assembly endorsed the Senate’s amendment.

Also signed Thursday by Guinn were:

–AB541, which lets candidates have nicknames printed on ballots in order to help voters distinguish between them and their opponents. Also, if two candidates’ names are the same or so similar that they’d confuse voters, the candidates’ middle initials must be used. Any incumbents can have their names printed first and in bold type.

–AB528, which states that anyone who acquires a registered voter list for election purposes can’t sell it or use it for any reason outside the election.

–SB240, which requires a house’s former use as a methamphetamine lab to be disclosed to potential buyers. The disclosure must be made unless the property was completely cleaned and certified as safe by a governmental entity. Sellers aren’t liable if they don’t have actual knowledge that the building was formerly used to make the drug.