Hottinger Introduces Legislation Expanding Survivor Benefits for Families of First Responders
May 7, 2018
COLUMBUS—State Senators Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) today introduced legislation which will expand survivor benefits for the families of first responders who are killed in the line of duty.
Senate Bill 296 will expand the length of time these families can draw full benefits up to the age of when the deceased would have been eligible for full retirement. At that point, families will receive 75 percent of the benefits, an increase from the 50 percent offered under current law. Additionally, the bill will allow families of fallen first responders to opt-in to health, dental, vision and other insurance plans. Currently in Ohio, no such option is available.
"Ohio's first responders put their lives on the line every day. If a law enforcement officer or a firefighter is killed in the line of duty, it's crucial that we stand by their families," said Hottinger. "I am happy to be a joint sponsor of this legislation to extend benefits, as well as health care coverage, to the families of our fallen heroes."
"Ohio's dedicated law enforcement, firefighters and public safety professionals risk their lives for our state and our communities," added LaRose. "Every day these brave men and women selflessly protect our families, and with this bill, we will ensure we better protect their families."
Senate Bill 296 is a companion bill to House Bill 621, which was recently introduced in the Ohio House by State Representative Jim Hughes. Last week, Senate President Larry Obhof and Representative Hughes were joined by family members of officers killed in action, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters in support of this legislation.