Effort to expand police mental health coverage progresses

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HARTFORD — An effort to extend workers’ compensation coverage to Connecticut police officers suffering from mental injuries has cleared a key hurdle after years of defeat.

The state Senate voted 25-11 early Friday morning in favor of legislation to cover job-related mental health injuries that did not arise from a physical injury. But the proposal also encompassed another bill that extends workers’ compensation coverage to certain firefighters who acquire various forms of cancer.

The decision to combine those two new mandates on cities and towns into one bill has prompted the state’s largest organization of municipalities to fight the legislation in the House of Representatives.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities plans to unveil a radio campaign next week urging lawmakers to kill the bill, saying it’s too costly for local taxpayers.