Late NC Lawmaker Buried, As His Health Bill Becomes Law

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina flags will be lowered to half-staff Wednesday, as the state commemorates the lifelong achievements of Rep. Jim Fulghum, M.D. (R-Wake), whose latest health bill Gov. McCrory signed into law Tuesday.

Fulghum was a retired neurosurgeon from Raleigh. He died Saturday at the age of 70, less than a month after being diagnosed with cancer and resigning from the NC House of Representatives. He has a wife and two daughters.

Tuesday, Gov. McCrory made law Fulghum's most recent legislative proposal, House Bill 664. The law aims to protect health care employees who work near hazardous materials and chemotherapy drugs. It references antineoplastic agents, which might cause skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and some cancers, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The law requires health care facilities to comply with rules from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and requires the Department of Labor to develop safer regulations for health care personnel who handle antineoplastic agents. The Department of Labor must develop such regulations by Jan. 1, 2016. Additionally, the commissioner of labor must form a work group comprised of hospitals and organizations representing health care personnel.

Gov. McCrory has said he will give the pen he used to sign the bill to Fulghum's widow at the funeral Friday.

Fulghum's family will hold a private burial Wednesday at 1 p.m. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Edenton St. United Methodist Church sanctuary.


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