Bills protect health benefits for fallen police, firefighter's familiesGov Jim Doyle today signed into law two bills to protect firefighters, police officers and other public service workers and their families.
Gov Jim Doyle today signed into law two bills to protect firefighters, police officers and other public service workers and their families.
The first bill, Senate Bill 520, requires municipalities to pay health insurance premiums for the families of firefighters who die, or have died, in the line of duty.
“Families of firefighters who have lost their lives shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their health care bills,” Doyle said. “This bill ensures that these families are protected when their loved ones make the ultimate sacrifice.”
Doyle thanked senators Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, and Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee, and representatives Ann Hraychuck, D-Balsam Lake, and Robert Turner, D-Racine, for their work on the bill.
The governor also signed into law Senate Bill 429, which establishes that if a firefighter, police officer or other public service worker gets sick or dies from cancer, heart disease or a respiratory impairment, the bill assumes that person’s job duties caused the illness when there are no signs of the disease during his or her qualifying medical exam. The bill also ensures that provision is considered when determining health benefits.
“Every day, our firefighters, police officers and others are walking into situations that could potentially be life threatening,” Doyle said. “That includes contracting dangerous illnesses, and this bill goes further in protecting those workers and their families.”
Doyle thanked senators Coggs and Jim Sullivan, D-Wauwatosa, and representatives Christine Sinicki, D-Madison, and Terese Berceau, D-Madison, for their work on the bill.