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No money for remarried police widows

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on March 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm with 6 Comments »
March 9, 2010 12:42 pm

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.”

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Why do they feel they are more deserving that military spouses that remarry? If a military spouse is lost, the surviving spouse still has all benefits. UNTIL they remarry. If their new spouse is not associated with the military they loose all access to the base.

    Why should police spouse’s receive any more than what our military get? Hope gregoire uses the line item veto on this one if they don’t scale it back.

  2. They should not receive more than what our military spouse’s get. And if they remarry (and their new spouse is not associated with the military), they loose all access to the base and it’s facilities.

  3. webtimes22 says:

    This is not without precedent as noted in the other comments. One place for this to be addressed is in the unions that repersent police, the other is for all high risk occupation wage earners to look at life insurance properly. One note surviving spouse of deceased military keep all base priviledges regardless of marriage status while they have children under 21-23.

  4. RBCharger says:

    Legislaters listened to the people’s majority opinion? As seen in these comments previously, most people don’t approve of unrestricted lifetime benefits or just don’t want to pay for them. It just seems odd that the politicians are in touch with public opinion on this. Most of them anyway.

  5. t_Johnson says:

    Google “Not yours To Give”

  6. IAFFpres says:

    Police and Fire surviving spouses do not feel as though they are more deserving than military spouses and have never made that claim. Washington DC controls those benefits for military; the State of Washington controls those for our police and firefighters.

    At issue here is the “pension benefit” that a surviving spouse receives and whether it should continue if they choose to remarry. LEOFF pensions continue, but Worker’s Comp pension benefits cease. If the police officer or firefighter didn’t work for more than 10 years – they didn’t get a LEOFF Pension.

    The Senate didn’t agree with the House version and as time was to short to reconcile the difference, the bill did not provide the survivor’s the ability to remarry without forfeiting their benefit.

    Google this t_Johnson,
    “www.constitution.org/cons/ann_toplovich_crockett.htm”

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