TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida lawmakers have passed a bill extending workers' compensation benefits for first responders to include treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
The House of Representatives voted unanimously for the legislation (SB 376) on Monday. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. If signed, the law would take effect on Oct. 1.
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Lawmakers have heard stories of firefighters and police officers who have taken their own lives or can no longer do their jobs because of repeated exposure to horrific deaths and tragedies, but they don't have benefits that include treatment for PTSD.
Right now workers' compensation benefits only cover physical injuries.
The bill was the top legislative priority of Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis, who issued a statement thanking the legislature for its passage.