By Curtis Haring
When first reading HB 30 – Line-of-Duty Death and Disability Amendments one should be shocked; not because the bill was written, but because it had to be written in the first place.
With HB 30, Representative Rhonda Menlove (R – Garland, District 1) intends to add stress induced deaths (such as stroke or heart attacks) to the list of ailments public employees families could be compensated for from the state. These deaths have to occur in the line of duty and have to be the result of legitimate strenuous activity – in other words, Bob in accounting wouldn’t be compensated if his heart finally gave out filing another TPS report, but a firefighter attempting to save a life who suffers a heart attack most certainly would.
It only seems natural to extend this compensation to the families of those who have lost a love one in the line of duty, and it is unimaginable as to why this wasn’t already considered. One wonders if there is a case of a local bureaucrat denying a claim because this was not specifically outlined in current state law.
At the time of publication, no fiscal note has been published for this – though one is sure to follow. Sadly, though coffers are increasing, a hefty price tag could sink the bill before it gets a change to be properly heard. Keep an eye out on this one, as it will act as a bellwether for how the legislature will be responding to spending bills.
To contact Rep. Menlove, Click Here or call 435-458-9115
Curtis Haring is the founder of the online publication Blue in Red Zion. He is a proud liberal and Democrat who values healthy debate over partisan rancor. Curtis holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Utah. He resides in downtown Salt Lake City and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.