Brownback Signs Bill Tweaking Workers Compensation | KCUR

Brownback Signs Bill Tweaking Workers Compensation

May 8, 2014

Brownback speaks during the ceremonial signing of the workers compensation bill.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill allowing more workers compensation claims for firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Previously, emergency responders had not been able to collect workers compensation for heart attacks or strokes.

More than 40 years ago, Kansas rewrote workers compensation laws. Part of that created a rule that said a worker couldn't collect workers comp for heart attacks or strokes related to their job unless it was caused by an unusually high level of exertion that isn't normally required for the job.

Gov. Brownback says that had an unintended consequence for some workers.

"It resulted in firefighters or law enforcement officers being unable to receive workers compensation benefits when they've had a heart attack or stroke on the job. Clearly, this is something that needed to be corrected and I'm glad we could finally do it," says Brownback.

The law takes effect July 1 and covers injuries after that date.