Legislation expands benefits for families of fallen first responders

Legislation extending medical benefits to surviving families of Michigan first responders who die in the line of duty was signed last week by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Supporting families of fallen first responders is unquestionably the right thing to do. Michigan values our first responders, and this legislation allows the state to properly honor and support their sacrifices,” Snyder said.

Senate Bill 218, sponsored by state Sen. Wayne Schmidt, provides medical benefits to surviving family members of local public safety officers. The bill expands on current benefits to include 60 months of health care in addition to an existing one-time payment of $25,000. The law is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2015. The bill is now Public Act 284 of 2016.

Snyder also signed three additional bills:

House Bill 4022, sponsored by state Rep. Robert Kosowski, will require foster care caseworkers to request an annual credit report of children 14 to 17 years old. These checks can lead to a decrease in identity theft and credit fraud. It is now PA 285.

HB 5429, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, allows under certain conditions the placement of a lien on watercraft as well as the disposal of abandoned watercraft at marinas or boatyards. It is now PA 286.

HB 5503, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, simplifies the probate process and eliminates complicated jurisdictional issues. It is now PA 287.

For additional information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.

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