Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have joined Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and a bipartisan group of senators to introduce the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendments of 2011. The Act would provide expanded restitution for Americans sickened from working in uranium mines or living downwind of atomic weapons tests.
Other co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO). Companion legislation was concurrently introduced in the House by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM-3).
Among other things, the RECA Amendments of 2011 would build upon previous RECA legislation by further widening qualifications for compensation for radiation exposure; qualifying post 1971 uranium workers for compensation; equalizing compensation for all claimants to $150,000; expanding the downwind exposure area to include seven states; and funding an epidemiological study of the health impacts on families of uranium workers and residents of uranium development communities.
"I recognize the burden placed upon cancer patients and their families to pay for the expensive regimen of treatments this disease requires. Passage of this legislation is the first step in helping Idahoans get the care they need," said Crapo.
Read more in the April 20 print edition of the Messenger Index.