The state Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that will set up a special fund for firefighters who contract work-related cancers. The program will provide cancer stricken firefighters with wage replacement funds while they undergo treatment. It will be funded by 1-cent of an existing small surcharge on phone bills for the state's 911 emergency system.
Southbury Senator Rob Kane objects to tapping that money. He says it could be against federal rules and if it comes back that grants are lost, a new funding source will needed.
Other lawmakers concede the funding mechanism is in doubt, but passed the bill anyone. Leaders say if it's ruled improper, they'll find a new source next year.
Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, supports the bill. He says there's nothing more important that protecting the men and women who protect their communities.
The House previously approved the bill unanimously.