HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Nearly four months since he took office, Gov. Tom Wolf has signed his first bill.
At a ceremony in the state Capitol on Wednesday, Wolf signed legislation to give families of police and emergency workers more time to apply for death benefits.
The legislation extends the application period from 90 days to four years.
Among the participants in the ceremony was April Waller, the widow of a former police chief at Penn State’s Greater Allegheny campus who died in 2012.
She says the benefits include medical insurance and will help cover the costs of their children’s college education.
Waller recently spoke with KDKA-TV’s Marty Griffin about her frustration in the wake of her husband’s death.
Under state law he had no death benefits and that left April on her own to raise two kids.
Griffin took her crisis to state Sen. Kim Ward.
The senator was shocked to learn campus police officers around the state did not qualify for death benefits, until now.
Under the newly signed bill, campus police officers across the state will now get death benefits if they die while on duty.
Sen. Ward says most campus police officers had no idea they had no death benefits. In fact she says most families don’t find out until after a loved one dies. Ward believes the new bill will give those families peace of mind.
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