Hwang honored for efforts to help firefighters with cancer

State Senator Tony Hwang (second from left) with firefighter advocates in the balcony of the House Chamber in the State Capitol.

State Senator Tony Hwang (second from left) with firefighter advocates in the balcony of the House Chamber in the State Capitol.

State Senator Tony Hwang has been recognized as the 2016 Co-Legislator of the Year by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.

The award recognizes Hwang’s efforts in helping craft legislation which provides wage replacement benefits to all of Connecticut’s firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

The award will be presented on Sept. 6 during a ceremony in New Britain.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition of our bipartisan legislative efforts within the General Assembly,” Hwang said. “This is a groundbreaking proposal which protects the men and women who protect us. We are helping all Connecticut firefighters who are diagnosed with job-related cancers, and in collaboration with municipal leaders we are doing so without adding new financial burdens on cities, towns, and local property taxpayers.”

Hwang is the ranking Republican senator on the Labor and Public Employees Committee and was part of a firefighter working group which consisted of Republican and Democrat legislators, the Connecticut Council of Municipalities, the Council of Small Towns, municipal leaders and the firefighters union.

Throughout the legislative session, Hwang co-sponsored “An Act Establishing A Firefighters Cancer Relief Program” Public Act 16-10, which establishes a relief fund used for wage replacement of those who are diagnosed with certain conditions of cancer as a result of their service as paid municipal or volunteer firefighters.

In addition to providing wage benefits, this bill also requires firefighters to take preventative measures to avoid contracting cancer. Eligibility for the relief fund requires firefighters to maintain a healthy lifestyle and undergo regular pre-screening for cancer.

“This legislation is the product of many hours of productive discussions on how to tackle a public policy problem,” Hwang said. “Our talks brought together different viewpoints from major stakeholders in order to bring about common sense solutions. With this new law, we have accomplished that goal. For everyone working on this important legislation, one mutual goal existed: We were working together to fight cancer and support our firefighters and their families.”

Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at [email protected]. His website is SenatorHwang.com.

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