SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — State leaders in Springfield are urging the passage of legislation that would benefit the families of fallen first responders and servicemembers in Illinois.
The measure would ensure families receive uninterrupted benefits from the State, even if funding temporarily runs out, as it did last year.
Illinois Comptroller Suzanne Mendoza said that while the state’s “Line of Duty Compensation Act” provides benefits for families, funding often runs out before the end of the fiscal year.
The proposal seeks to eliminate the need for the legislature to vote on supplemental appropriations.
“The legislature had appropriated $5 million for benefits to the families of fallen officers. That’s a lot of money. But, that’s how many officers died in the line of duty last year,” Mendoza said. “They underbudgeted by almost the exact same amount. It was $4 million under budget. The fact of the matter is it should have come to this. No family, no family in Illinois should have to wait longer than it takes to apply for those benefits to get them.”
Last year, 26 claims were made although only 13 were budgeted for.