By Hunter Woodall
A bill centered on first responders that attracted bipartisan support from Minnesota's congressional delegation became law this month.
"Our first responders put themselves at risk every day to keep our communities safe, and we must provide those who are injured or killed and the families of our fallen heroes with the benefits they deserve," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "This bill will ensure they are compensated in a timely manner so they can get the care they need."
The new law "expands eligibility requirements and increases certain benefits provided under the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program," according to the White House.
The legislation cleared the Senate unanimously, while the House passed it by an overwhelming vote of 420 to 3. The House version was co-sponsored by GOP Rep. Pete Stauber.
"As a former police officer, I know firsthand that America's law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS providers put their lives on the line daily to protect our communities and serve others," Stauber said in a statement.
"Tragically, when these heroes pay the ultimate sacrifice or sustain serious injuries in the line of duty, their families must often deal with bureaucratic red tape to receive the benefits their loved one earned," said Stauber. "With the signing of this legislation into law, it is my hope that these families are better protected should they suffer a terrible loss."