Their Families Are Our Families: SB-247 Passes

DENVER – The families of our fallen officers and firefighters have been at the forefront of policy discussions underneath the golden dome this session, in part due to a string of law enforcement deaths that occurred in late 2017 and early 2018.

“Last year, we had a Colorado State Trooper, Cody Donahue, who passed away while protecting and serving our state,” said Senator Gardner. “He passed away near the end of the month. When his widow, Velma, took their daughter to the doctor just a week later, they found out they no longer had coverage. That’s not right.”

While the Donahue family’s dilemma would soon be addressed by Senator Beth Martinez Humenik’s (R-Thornton) Senate Bill 148, which extended benefits for the families of state employees that pass away while on the job, Senate Republicans have been searching for a way to also assist our law enforcement and firefighters who are employed by cities and localities.

This brings us to Senate Bill 247, sponsored by Senator Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs), which creates a statewide fund that those local districts are able to make payments into, much like an insurance plan, and draw upon them to assist these families.

“Our officers – and firefighters – are heroes,” said Senator Gardner. “When they fall, their families become our families, and as such, it’s our responsibility to ensure that they are taken care of when it’s time to pick up the pieces. Senate Bill 247 allows our cities and localities to pool their resources to ensure that the families of our heroes are taken care of during their darkest time.”

Senate Bill 247 passed the Senate on third and final reading today on a 35 to 0 vote and now moves to the House for consideration.

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