MARION, Ill. (KFVS) – Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is asking the state legislature to change how it pays the families of deceased first responders.
The way the current law is written, money for benefits could run out before the end of the year, requiring the state legislature to approve additional appropriations.
Mendoza is urging lawmakers to pass a bill in the Legislative Assembly to approve more funding.
“No family should have to wait a minute longer than it takes to process their application and get it to my office for payment. Now I immediately knew this was a problem that needed to be fixed and I am happy to be able to lead the charge with these wonderful members of the legislature who are going to carry the bill on behalf of all these families and sadly the future families who will actually have to receive benefits,” Mendoza said.
She added: ‘Returning to the police memorial this spring, I was approached by the family of late officer Brian Pierce. Tammy and Brian Pierce, who are here with us today, have asked for my help in verifying the compensation paid to the families of first responders who have died in the line of duty. These are the benefits that families receive from widows, orphans, the next beneficiaries in line.
Mendoza says they are working to double the time in which family members can file a claim from one to two years.
The changes will be discussed during the November veto session.
“House Bill 5785 and Senate Bill 4229 which would allow these vouchers to come to my office so that I could pay them immediately without delay. It becomes what we call a continuous credit under the bill. So the legislature will never again have to call a special session or an additional appropriation to deal with this situation,” Mendoza said.
Copyright 2022 KFVS. All rights reserved.