Police groups will have to wait at least another year to get the benefits they want for officers’ widows who remarry.
The House today agreed to the Senate version of a bill that expands benefits for families of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty. It does not contain a change the House and Gov. Chris Gregoire wanted that would allow spouses to keep collecting workers’-compensation benefits even if they find a new husband or wife.
Gregoire told reporters today she urged the House to accept the scaled-back version, not wanting to stall the bill with just three days left in the legislative session.
Otherwise, the bill guarantees unlimited free college tuition to officers’ survivors and allows them to collect lifetime pensions regardless of how long their loved ones worked.
Gregoire said she would renew the push to help remarried spouses next year.
Of course, by next January the slayings of four Lakewood police officers won’t be fresh in politicians’ minds. But Gregoire said she doesn’t expect that would cost momentum for police-backed legislation. “No one’s going to forget,” she said. “We’re always going to remember.”