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Helping American coal miners

Local News

Despite President Trump’s affinity for coal, coal miners and their families face an uncertain future-especially retired coal miners, whose pensions are drying up as their former companies go bankrupt.  

Lawmakers are trying to come to the rescue with the “American Coal Miners Act of 2019”. The bill would prop up miners’ pension funds, ensure healthcare coverage, and extend black lung benefits for disabled miners and their dependents. 

Miners say they want lawmakers to protect their hard-earned pensions.
“Me and thousands of other people like me helped to keep the lights on in this country,’ said Manuel Ojeda from West Virginia. ‘We’ve done our jobs now its time for Congress to do their jobs.

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin says the “American Coal Miners Act’ of 2019” would do the trick.

“It guarantees the pensions that we’ve been fighting for,” said Senator Manchin.

Many retired mine workers rely on the 1974 pension plan to provide benefits, but the closure of coal companies has left those funds uncertain.

Senator Manchin’s legislation would amend existing mining laws, so certain funds could be transferred to the pension plan.

Lawmakers say they want to make sure miners receive healthcare benefits, even if their employer goes bankrupt.

The bill would also help make sure miners suffering from black lung get the resources they need.

Democrat Senator Mark Warner from Virginia says contributions to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund are set to drastically decrease if Congress doesn’t act fast.

“Black lung is still a real, enormous medical challenge,” said Senator Warner.

Warner urges lawmakers to support the bill and extend the current tax rate for 10 years.

“It is way past time to fix this problem. Let’s take that step,” said Senator Warner.

Miners say they’re counting on Congress to get them the healthcare and pensions they’ve worked work.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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