(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Gilbert “Whip” L. Wilson, Troy Singleton, Craig J. Coughlin and Celeste M. Riley that would make funeral payments for public safety personnel was released by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday.
The bill (A-1399) authorizes a State contribution to the funeral expenses of police officers, firefighters, first aid, ambulance and rescue squad members, and correctional officers whose lives are lost in the line of duty.
The sponsors note the intention of the bill is to provide a token of public appreciation to the survivors of the brave men and women who risk their lives daily to protect the residents of the State.
“These are our first responders and heroes in times of crisis. Extending support to their families in the greatest time of need is the right thing to do to honor their dedication to our communities,” said Wilson (D-Camden, Gloucester).
“Our public safety personnel are called upon to handle some of the toughest situations we could ever imagine. It is only fitting to honor their service by easing some of the burden for their families if anything happens to them while on duty,” said Singleton (D-Burlington).
“These are individuals who place their lives on the line every day. This legislation would extend a small token of appreciation to those who selflessly serve and protect our communities,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex).
“We have seen them in action during Hurricane Sandy and other moments where we were in need of their skills. They are our communities’ heroes and deserve this legislation for their daily sacrifice,” said Riley (D-Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem).
Under the bill’s provisions, the State treasurer would be required to reimburse the actual funeral expenses of these public safety officers in an amount not to exceed $10,000. The bill provides that the reimbursement would be reduced by any amount payable for funeral expenses from worker’s compensation.
The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.