Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and Montana Sen. Conrad Burns both introduced legislation earlier this year to expand the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to their respective states. Now they've teamed up to introduce a third bill that would include both Idaho and Montana.
On December 16, Crapo and Burns introduced the bill, co-sponsored by Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, that would allow those in Idaho and Montana who were harmed by nuclear testing fallout in the 1950s and 60s to apply for governmental compensation. In November, Crapo told BW his previous legislation was an "interim step" to help Idahoans before RECA receives a likely overhaul that could make compensation much harder to receive. Last month, Sen. Craig inserted language into a defense spending bill that demanded the department create a report detailing such changes within 90 days.
"Even though changes in the RECA program have been recommended, the faster course to compensation for victims of atomic tests may come through using the existing RECA model," Crapo said. For a link to the legislation, visit www.boiseweekly.com.