(HARRISBURG) – – Legislation to increase monthly benefit payments to those who suffer from Black Lung and other occupational diseases has been unanimously passed by the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, according to Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27), the bill’s prime sponsor and the committee’s chairman.
Under the Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act, persons who contract diseases peculiar to a particular industry, such as coal miners who suffer from Black Lung, are entitled to monthly payments. Currently, those payments are $125 per month and, according to the Senator, have been set at that level since 1979.
“My legislation increases the monthly payments to $150,” said Sen. Gordner. “Because of the limited number of recipients- less than 600 – the proposal requires only a minimal amount of additional state spending. It’s the least we can do to recognize the hard work of miners who built an industry that is so important to our area.”
Senate Bill 263 will now move to the full Senate for consideration.