FILE - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during a briefing on COVID-19 on Monday, April 20, 2020, in West Columbia, S.C.

(The Center Square) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster held a bill signing ceremony Wednesday for legislation that provides health care benefits for firefighters battling cancer.

Members of the General Assembly, the South Carolina Cancer Coalition and other state leaders appeared alongside McMaster as he signed S. 1071 at the State Fire Academy Fire Station in Columbia.

“First responders and law enforcement are the backbone of the strength of South Carolina,” McMaster said. “Without them doing what they do unselfishly, every day, we cannot prosper. That is why it is so important to honor them.”

Passed in September, the law provides $1,200 annually for medical expenses of fire service members undergoing cancer treatment, and it provides a lump benefit of $20,000 to help with remission treatment costs. Should a firefighter die of cancer, a $75,000 benefit would be provided.

“I'm proud to sign the Firefighter Cancer Healthcare Benefit Plan, because we owe it to those who sacrifice to protect us in our time of greatest need to be there for them in their time of greatest need,” McMaster said in a statement.

Delaware remains the only state that does not provide benefits to firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.