Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately provide for the creation of a rebuttable presumption of job-relatedness in the granting of retirement benefits to firefighters in the commonwealth suffering certain disabling conditions of cancer, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency act, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 26 of chapter 31 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1988 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line eighty-eight, the words "and ninety-four A" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- , ninety-four A and ninety-four B.
SECTION 2. Chapter 32 of the General Laws, is hereby amended by inserting after section ninety-four A, as so appearing, the following section:-
Section 94B. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, any condition of cancer affecting the skin or the central nervous, lymphatic, digestive, hematalogical, urinary, skeletal, oral or prostate systems, resulting in total disability or death to a uniformed member of a paid fire department, or to any permanent crash crewman, crash boatman, fire controlman or assistant fire controlman employed at the General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, shall, if he successfully passed a physical examination on entry into such service or subsequent to such entry, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of such condition, be presumed to have been suffered in the line of duty, unless it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that non-service connected risk factors or non-service connected accidents or hazards undergone, or any combination thereof, caused such incapacity. The provisions of this section shall only apply if the disabling or fatal condition is a type of cancer which may, in general, result from exposure to heat, radiation, or a known or suspected carcinogen as determined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, so called.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person serving in such positions for fewer than five years at the time that such condition is first discovered, or should have been discovered. Any person first discovering any such condition within five years of the last date on which such person actively so served shall be eligible to apply for benefits hereunder, and such benefits, if granted, shall be payable as of the date on which the employee last received regular compensation. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person serving in such position unless such person shall first establish that he has regularly responded to calls of fire during some portion of the period of his service in such position.
(3) The provisions of this section shall also apply to any condition of cancer, other than those listed in subdivision (1), which, in general, may result from exposure to heat or radiation or to a known or suspected carcinogen as determined by said International Agency for Research on Cancer, so-called, and the incidence of which is found by regulation by the commissioner of the department of public health to have a statistically significant correlation with fire service.
(4) Nothing herein shall preclude a member from applying for and receiving benefits under section seven or section nine, subject to the provisions of said sections.
SECTION 3. Section 100 of said chapter 32, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line eighty, the words "and ninety-four A" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- , ninety-four A and ninety-four B.
SECTION 4. The provisions of this act shall apply only to a person actively employed as a uniformed member of a paid fire department or as a permanent crash crewman, crash boatman, fire controlman or assistant fire controlman employed at the General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, on or after the effective date of this act.
SECTION 5. The provisions of section two shall not be construed to affect the interpretation of the provisions of said sections ninety-four or ninety-four A of chapter thirty-two of the General Laws.
SECTION 6. The provisions of this act shall be effective in every retirement system established by or operating under the provisions of chapter thirty-two of the General Laws or under the similar provisions of any other general or special law, and for every governmental unit which is a member of such retirement system, notwithstanding the provisions of section twenty-seven C of chapter twenty-nine of the General Laws.