- Published: 01 December 2016
SPRINGFIELD –Legislation sponsored by State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) to support widows, widowers and family members of Chicago police officers, firefighters and paramedics that die in the line of duty is now law.
House members voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Rauner’s veto in support of Chicago first responders. The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto two weeks ago.
“I am thrilled that legislation I sponsored to support Chicago police officers, firefighters, paramedics and their widows passed the House and overrode Gov. Rauner’s veto,” Mulroe said. “I have fought for the past two years to make sure that the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us receive the benefits they deserve.”
Senate Bill 440 provides a modest annuity of no less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level to widows and widowers. It also clarifies the benefits for Tier II firefighters and police officers who are killed in the line of duty to ensure that their family is entitled to a death benefit. Lastly, it provides a cost-of-living adjustment to police officer, paramedic and firefighter annuitants by moving the “born before” eligibility to 1966. Normally the “born before” eligibility has been updated every five years since 1982, however it has not been updated since 2004.
The bill is effective immediately.