Ohio Senate Passes Legislation Expanding Survivor Benefits for Families of Fallen First Responders
COLUMBUS— The Senate passed legislation today, sponsored by State Senators Jay Hottinger
(R-Newark) and Frank LaRose
(R-Hudson), 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 law enforcement officers and firefighters risk their lives for our safety every day,” said Hottinger. “We need to do all we can to support the family members of those who make the ultimate sacrifice. It’s not only an important thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”
“The prompt passage of Senate Bill 296 is an important step towards helping those families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” added LaRose. “Our dedicated public safety professionals risk their lives for us every day. This bill is the least we can do to help ensure the families of our fallen heroes are financially secure when faced with such a tragedy.”
Senate Bill 296 passed with unanimous, bipartisan support and will now move to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.