SPRINGFIELD — A new bill filed today would make sure funding is available for the families of fallen first responders.

The legislation was proposed by Comptroller Susana Mendoza and is sponsored by State Representative Dave Vella (D-Rockford).

Currently, Illinois’ Line of Duty Compensation Act provides benefits for the families of law enforcement officers, firemen, paramedics and other first responders killed in the line of duty.

However, the stipends for these benefits can sometime run out before the end of a fiscal year, requiring the state legislature to approve supplemental funding.

“Each day, police, firemen and paramedics risk their lives to protect the rest of us. They sacrifice their own safety for the greater good. The state should never falter in promptly providing the families left behind with the benefits they have been promised,” said Comptroller Mendoza.

“We can’t bring back the people these families loved most in this world. But we can support these families through their loss and show them through our actions, not just words, that the lives of the fallen were valued and will be honored.”

The amount of the benefit $375,475 and increases by the Consumer Price Index each year. It is provided to the surviving spouse or next of kin.

“When we lose a first responder in the line of duty, their family is forever changed,” State Rep. Vella said.

“In their greatest time of need, it’s important and necessary that we are able to fully support them. It’s frankly inexcusable that we were unable to help a family right away because of bureaucratic hurdles. Let’s make sure that never happens again in Illinois.”

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August 12, 2022 at 07:58PM