Rep. Klippert explains his stance on Hanford Occupational Diseas - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rep. Klippert explains his stance on Hanford Occupational Disease Bill

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RICHLAND, WA - A day after the Hanford Occupational Disease Bill got through the first leg of its legislative journey, we hear from one local representative who voted against it.

The bill passed in the state house yesterday, but Representative Brad Klippert of the eighth district - which actually includes the Hanford site - voted against the bill, which is intended to widen the presumption of occupational disease for the workers on the site.

Representative Klippert says the bill is too all-encompassing, specifically citing the standard that defines a Hanford worker - anyone, including contractors and subcontractors - as someone who has worked at least one eight hour shift on the site.

"Way too broad," said Representative Klippert. "I don't sit on the Appropriations Committee where this bill was heard, but I listened to and spoke with many of my fellow representatives who sat in that committee and that's exactly what they said. They said, 'the problem is, Brad, this bill is just way too broad.'"

If the bill passes, it would make it much easier for workers who have suffered health issues from the site to receive medical care covered by the government.

As of now, much of the burden to prove the health issues happened from working at the site falls in the hands of the workers, but House Bill 1723 would add a significant amount of health issues to the list of occupational diseases someone could get from the site.

The bill passed in the house 69 to 29, and now it needs to pass in the Senate house before going to Governor Inslee's desk.

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