Rep. Josh Cutler joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass legislation that increases the benefits for families of public safety employees killed in the line of duty from $100,000 to $150,000.
This change represents the first increase in the benefit since 1994. It will retroactively apply to the families of Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy who were killed while fighting a fire on Beacon Street last week, and Plymouth Police Officer Gregg Maloney who was killed in the line of duty on April 1, 2014. These funds are included in a supplemental budget.
“Every day, I am awed and grateful for the sacrifices firefighters, police and their families make for us,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “As we pray for those who perished, their families and the first responders they served with, we must ensure the families of these courageous individuals receive the support they so rightly deserve. I’m proud we were able to pass this increase and pledge to honor their memory through our work on Beacon Hill.”
“My district was hit especially hard by last week’s tragic fire,” said Representative Ed Coppinger (D-Boston), Vice Chair of the House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling. “Everyday firefighters from across the state risk their lives to keep us safe. Today we had the opportunity to show them that we will take care of their families when they make the ultimate sacrifice. I thank Speaker DeLeo for his strong leadership on pushing this forward so quickly.