LUBBOCK, Texas — The Matt Dawson Act, a Texas legislation that would improve benefits for first responders suffering long-term injuries in the line of duty, was unanimously voted out of committee Tuesday.

State Representative Dustin Burrows filed the bill and supported it alongside Lubbock Fire Chief Shaun Fogerson during the hearing in front of the Business and Industry Committee, according to a press release.

The press release said, “The bill includes language so TDI-DWC (Division of Workers Comp.) can better regulate the process.” It will limit the number of times a provider can determine that a disability still exists to once every five years.

Matt Dawson was a Lubbock firefighter critically injured in an accident on Interstate 27 in January of 2020. Lubbock Police Officer Nicholas Reyna and Lubbock Fire Rescue Lieutenant Eric Hill were killed in the accident.

“This bill will update archaic Worker’s Compensation laws impacting first responders and allow all parties to rely on accepted medical knowledge when handling claims involving neurocognitive issues. More importantly, this bill will allow first responders to obtain lifetime benefits if they are so severely injured that they are rendered permanently unemployable, regardless of the nature of their on-duty injury,” said Rep. Burrows.