Schmidt’s bill providing health care benefits to families of fallen officers becomes law

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — Health care benefits for the surviving spouse and dependents of officers who die in the line of duty will be guaranteed after legislation sponsored by state Sen. Wayne Schmidt was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder this week.

“Public safety officials put their lives on the line for us each day — willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for us and their families,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “It is important that we give back to those families for their sacrifices, and providing health care coverage to the spouses and children of officers who die in the line of duty is one way we can.”

Senate Bill 218, now Public Act 284 of 2016, provides medical benefits to surviving family members of law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters, rescue squad members, or ambulance crew members. The bill expands on current benefits to include 60 months of health care in addition to an existing one-time payment of $25,000. The law is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2015.