"WASHINGTON - Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth on Thursday unveiled a plan to rehabilitate communities hurt by the decline of the U.S. coal industry - an appeal to a political constituency seen as important in the November election.
The bill would direct investment to communities reeling from closures of mines and coal-fired power plants in recent years, to create new jobs and help them grapple with issues like opiod addiction and black lung disease here she said.
“We can’t just tell these communities to let go of coal because there is nothing else,” said Duckworth, who is one of several women vetted as a possible running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, in an interview.
The bill would expand Medicare to laid-off coal workers, guarantee free higher education for miners and their families, provide federal homebuying assistance and create a redevelopment office. Cost estimates for the bill were not immediately available."