Trooper Lambert CeremonySPRINGFIELD – The burial benefit for law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty will increase under a new law by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week.

“Every day, law enforcement officers and firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us all,” Morrison said. “The least we can do for fallen officers or firefighters is ensure their families aren’t left with worry about burying their loved one.”

Currently, the state burial benefit for firefighters, State Police officers or local law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty is $10,000. Morrison’s new law will increase that benefit to $20,000, acknowledging the ever-increasing costs associated with burials. Neither the benefit for State Police officers nor the benefit for local law enforcement officers and firefighters has been raised since its creation in the late 1990s.

Morrison introduced the plan after the death of Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert, a Highland Park resident who was assisting in a traffic accident on the Tri-State Tollway in January when he was struck by a speeding motorist and killed.

“The grieving families of our fallen heroes should not have to endure the additional stress and worry of not knowing if they will be able to afford burial costs for their lost loved ones,” said Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly. “During a time of loss, grief and tragedy, the families of fallen officers and firefighters who dedicated their lives to protecting others, and who died while serving the members of our communities, should be able to focus on grieving the loss of their loved ones.”

House Bill 2028 passed the Senate without opposition on May 16 and was signed by the governor on Wednesday. It goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

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