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Families Of Fallen First Responders To Get Expanded Benefits

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Families of first responders in Michigan can expect to get expanded benefits soon.  Governor Rick Snyder signed the Survivors Benefit Bill Tuesday.

The bipartisan law makes sure that spouses and children of first responders like firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty have health benefits for up to five years.  The benefits include dental and optical as well as medical. 

Representative Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) spoke in favor of the bill when it was up for a vote in the House.  He talked about the Berrien County shooting that happened in July.  Two deputies were shot and killed when transferring an inmate.  Pscholka told his fellow Representatives just before voting started, “It seems to me it’s a small, small reward for folks who go to work every day, and they really, really don’t know if they’re going to come back.”

Governor Rick Snyder said, “Supporting families of fallen first responders is unquestionably the right thing to do,” in a statement issued by his office.  Snyder also said, “Michigan values our first responders, and this legislation allows the state to properly honor and support their sacrifices.”

The new law is retroactive to October 1st, 2015. 

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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