Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2021
Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation Extending Compensation Benefits to More Michigan Firefighters
LANSING, Mich. - Governor Whitmer on Tuesday signed House Bill 4171, which will extend compensation benefits to more Michigan firefighters who were injured as a result of their service in the line of duty. The governor also signed Senate Bill 683.
House Bill 4171 would amend the Worker's Disability Compensation Act to include forest fire officers, and fire/crash officers under the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. This enables forest fire officers and fire/crash officers who develop certain cancers to claim worker's compensation benefits from the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund.
"Michigan's brave firefighters go above and beyond every day, sacrificing so much to keep us safe. We have to work together to ensure that they get the benefits they deserve, and I am proud that we came together to make a difference in their lives," said Gov. Whitmer. "First responders and their families should know that we will have their back in their time of need. Extending the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund to include forest fire officers and fire/crash officers means that these first responders are taken care of when they get hurt. This bill puts Michiganders first and supports first responders when they need it most."
"Everyone knows the inherent risks our firefighters face daily, whether it be a fire or technical rescue. What many may not realize is the health effects that can occur years later due to the exposures of environmental contaminants and carcinogens," said Jeff Roberts, President of the Michigan Association Fire Chiefs. "We greatly appreciate the efforts by legislators and the Governor to provide an opportunity for our forest firefighters and airport crash-fire rescuers to qualify for the First Responder Presumed Cancer Fund."
House Bill 4171 was sponsored by Rep. Sue Allor, R - Wolverine, and a copy of the bill can be found here.
The governor also signed Senate Bill 683.
Senate Bill 683 amends the Juvenile Code to clarify which courts have jurisdiction on cases involving 17-year-olds due to Raise the Age legislation taking effect October 1, 2021. This helps ensure that cases involving 17-year-olds are tried in the appropriate court.
Senate Bill 683 was sponsored by Sen. Mike MacDonald, R - Macomb Twp., and a copy of the bill can be found here.