SPRINGFIELD –Legislation to support Chicago police officers and firefighters and their widows and widowers passed the Senate today in a veto override.

Senate Bill 440, sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago 10), passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support in the spring but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“I think it’s important that we provide for the families of our firefighters and police officers,” Mulroe said.

This bill 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 and firefighter annuitants by moving the “born before” eligibility to 1966.

“Since 1982 the ‘born before’ eligibility has been updated every five years to ensure that firefighters and police officers receive their cost-of-living adjustment, but it has not been updated since 2004,” Mulroe said.

SB 440 passed the Senate with a 37-15 vote. It now moves to the House for consideration.

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