COLUMBUS— House Democratic lawmakers issued statements following the House’s vote today to approve a measure that would allow first responders diagnosed with work-related PTSD to qualify for BWC compensation and benefits, something Democrats have prioritized in recent General Assemblies.

“Ohio is stronger when we stand with working people, especially our first responders who sacrifice so much to serve our communities,” Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) said. “Part of Ohio’s fundamental promise is that everyone should be able to live, work and retire here with safety and security. For years, Democrats have pushed to extend coverage to first responders diagnosed with PTSD, and today’s vote is a step in the right direction—the least we can do to ensure our first responders and their families are taken care of during and after their time of dedicated public service to their communities.”

The provision originally passed in 2019 as part of the House version of the BWC’s two-year budget. However, Senate lawmakers removed it before sending the final version to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“Ohio’s first responders put their lives on the line to answer our calls to keep our kids and communities safe—we should be there for them when they call on us,” said Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus). “Democrats have been fighting to extend benefits to those first responders with work-related PTSD for years because it’s the right thing to do. Today is a real win for them and their families.”

“Our first responders must always be our first priority,” said Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park). “We count on them to answer the call in our most urgent times of need, now it is our turn to answer the call and take care of their mental well-being before it’s too late and we miss this opportunity to do what is right for hardworking Ohioans.”

After clearing the House, the bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

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