Boston MA April 1 2017 The governor of Massachusetts this week signed a law that doubles death benefits for families of fallen first responders.
Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday put his stamp of approval on the bill that increases the benefit from $150,000 to $300,000 for families of law enforcement, fire and emergency services personnel killed in the line of duty, according to The Republican.
The change is retroactive to March 15 and will cover the family of Watertown Firefighter Joseph Toscano, who died while fighting a fire on March 17.
Baker told reporters that the idea for increasing the death benefit came up at a memorial for Toscano following his death. In just eight days, lawmakers to passed the change as part of a supplemental budget bill.
"The daily life of those of us in public service for the most part comes with all kinds of surprises, but most of them are manageable," Baker said. "The first responder community, the public safety community, the surprises they have to deal with sometimes get significantly beyond what we deal with. This is one way for us ... to speak out and to support the families of those who put on the uniform every day."
Massachusetts State Police Col. Richard McKeon told reporters that the change is "morally the right thing to do."