LANSING, Michigan (WJMN) – Bills 4172, 4247 and 5026 were signed by Governor Whitmer today and will support Michigan first responders and emergency services.
House Bill 4172 amends the Worker’s Disability Compensation Act to include current and former part-time, on-call or volunteer firefighters under the Deemed First Responder Coverage Fund. Firefighters who develop certain cancers can claim workers’ compensation benefits from the alleged first responder coverage fund.
“Michigan firefighters, whether full-time, part-time or volunteer, bravely sacrifice their time and health to serve our communities and keep us safe,” said Governor Whitmer. “First responders and their families need to know that the state of Michigan will support them during their time of need. House Bill 4172 will expand the options for firefighters to receive benefits for cancer treatment. We owe the firefighters of our state infinite thanks for their selfless acts of service. ”
House Bill 4172 was sponsored by Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond, a copy can be found here.
“Our first responders put their lives at risk every day to protect us – that’s why it’s important that we make sure they are taken care of when their work results in injury and illness,” said Yaroch R -Richmond. “I appreciate the bipartisan support for taking care of the firefighters. ”
“Firefighters are exposed to carcinogenic toxins every day on the job,” said Mark Docherty, president of the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union. “They have much higher cancer rates both when they’re still active and when they’re retired. We are grateful to Representatives Allor and Yaroch for bringing forward this legislation and for the signing of Governor Whitmer. House Bill 4171 and 4172 will mean that all firefighters will have equal access to the deemed cover fund for first responders in their greatest need.
House Bill 4247 will change the way the Survivor Tuition Grant is calculated. The program provides tuition assistance to children whose parents have been killed in the line of duty in Michigan. Under current law, students are not eligible for the grant unless their school’s financial aid office finds them in need. The bill would remove this requirement and allow more surviving children to access funds.
“Michigan police and firefighters have served our communities with honor and dedication, and the Survivor Tuition Grant is critical to honoring the children of our deceased first responders,” Governor Whitmer said. “This bill will streamline survivor tuition subsidy benefits, helping to ease the financial burden on the families of those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe.”
House Bill 4247 was sponsored by Representative Matt Koleszar D-Plymouth, a copy can be found here.
“Our police, firefighters and their families give so much for us,” Koleszar said. “With this action, we honor the memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice by honoring their commitments to their families after their death. I am delighted to see this bill enacted.
Bill 5026 amends the Emergency 9-1-1 Service Enabling Act to maintain funding until December 31, 2027. It will also streamline the capabilities of the 9-1-1 system, increase the surcharge Prepaid wireless 9-1-1 and will make other changes to improve the 9-1-1 system.
“Maintaining and expanding public safety is a responsibility of our government,” Governor Whitmer said. “When an emergency strikes, our state’s first responders are ready to respond. Funding for our state’s essential 9-1-1 services is needed to equip our state when needed. ”
House Bill 5026 was sponsored by Representative Julie Calley R-Portland, and a copy can be found here.
“Public safety is one of the primary responsibilities of government,” Calley said. “If we don’t act, we’d be shirking our responsibility and giving up every Michigander who relies on 911 to be ready in an emergency. The software and technology we have today to support the trained experts on the line is truly amazing – but it’s not free. It is absolutely essential to ensure that this fund is sustainable in the long term.