Governor Deval Patrick today signed H. 4023, "An Act Making an Appropriation for the Fiscal Year 2014 to Provide for Supplementing a Certain Existing Appropriation and for Certain Other Activities and Projects," or the "Line of Duty Act." The legislation increases the death benefit of public safety employees who are killed in the line of duty to $150,000, a $50,000 increase to the original amount that had remained unchanged since the law had passed in 1994. The Governor was joined at the bill signing by Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
"I am honored to sign the Line of Duty Act to ensure that our first responders and public safety officials killed serving and protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth are appropriately cared for," said Governor Patrick.
The bill passed through the House and Senate following the deaths of Boston Fire Lieutenant Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy, and Plymouth Police Officer Gregg Maloney.
"I am proud of the Legislature for providing much-needed support for the families of Lieutenant Walsh, Firefighter Kennedy and Officer Maloney," said Senate President Murray. "We will always be grateful to these brave men for dedicating their lives to public service and keeping the people of Massachusetts safe. Moving forward will be very difficult for their families and this is the least that we can do for them. As Reverend John Unni said during the firefighters services, we have to take care of each other and this is our opportunity to take care of the families."
"Every day, I am awed and grateful for the sacrifices firefighters, police and their families make for us," said Speaker DeLeo. "As we pray for the courageous individuals who recently perished we must ensure the families of enforcement officials faced with tragedy receive the support they so rightly deserve. I'm proud to join with Senate President Murray and Governor Patrick for today's bill signing."