Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza asking to change payment methods for families of fallen first responders
MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is asking the state legislature to change the way it pays families of fallen 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 supplemental appropriations.
In Williamson County on Thursday, September 29, Mendoza urged lawmakers to pass a bill in the legislature to approve more funding.
“No family should have to wait a minute more than it takes to process their claim and get it to my office for payment. Now I immediately knew that this was a problem that needed to be fixed and I’m happy to be able to lead the charge along with these wonderful members of the legislature who are going to carry the bill on behalf of all of these families and unfortunately the future families who will in fact have to receive benefits,” Mendoza said.
She went on to add, “Going back to the police memorial this spring, I was approached by the family of fallen officer Brian Pierce. Tammy and Brian Pierce who are here with us today asked me for my help in checking on the award payments awarded to families of first responders who die in the line of duty. These are the benefits that families receive widows, orphans, the next in line beneficiaries.”
Mendoza said they are working to double the time in which family members can file a claim from one to two years.
The changes will be brought up in November’s veto session.
“House Bill 5785 and Senate Bill 4229 that would allow for these vouchers to come to my office so that I can pay them immediately without a minutes delay. It becomes what we call a continuing appropriation under the bill, so the legislature will never again have to reconvene a special session or a supplemental appropriation to deal with this situation,” said Mendoza.
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