June 27, 2019

Pritzker signs law increasing death benefits for families of first responders


Troy Chisum

A day after AFSCME Local 3433 member Troy Chisum was killed in the line of duty, Governor JB Pritzker signed a law doubling death benefits for fallen fire fighters and law enforcement officers, including local and state correctional employees.

The measure, House Bill 2028, was backed by AFSCME because the previous law capped state reimbursements for burial costs at just $10,000. Now the families of those killed in the line of duty will receive up to $20,000. The law is retroactively effective to June 30, 2018.

Chisum was a 39-year-old Fulton County sheriff’s deputy who was fatally wounded while responding to an emergency call. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters in Canton.

“While no amount of money can ease the terrible grief of families who have lost their loved ones because they were killed in the line of duty, I hope we can at least lessen the financial burden of an immeasurable loss of our state’s finest,” Gov. Pritzker said. “My heart breaks for the families, friends and fellow first responders every time a brave soul leaves us in the noblest of ways. A grateful state will always honor your legacies.”

“This new law honors the sacrifices of those public servants who put themselves at risk every day,” Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “We hope the additional funds will help Troy’s family as they deal with their unthinkable loss.”

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