Senator Gordner’s Legislation to Increase Black Lung Benefits Soon To Be Law

(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 and the House of Representatives, according to  Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27), the bill’s prime sponsor and the Chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee.

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 $175,” said Sen. Gordner.  “Because of the limited number of recipients- less than 500 – 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 and our state.”

Senate Bill 263 will become law when Governor Edward Rendell signs the legislation.