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Governor McDonnell Signs Legislation Extending Disability Benefits for State Police Officers

Press Release | State of Virginia

June 04, 2010

RICHMOND –Governor Bob McDonnell today signed legislation which will extend short term disability benefits for Virginia State Police officers injured in the line of duty. SB95, sponsored by Senator Fred Quayle (R-Suffolk), extends the length of time that a state police officer subject to a work-related injury in the line of duty will receive supplemental short-term disability coverage equal to 100% of their compensation. Currently, officers are only eligible for coverage for 125 days of work. SB95 expands the coverage to six months. Additionally, if certified by the Superintendent of State Police, this coverage can be extended to one year if a medical evaluation indicates the officer is likely to return to service within the additional six months. Delegate Bill Carrico (R-Galax) sponsored similar legislation in the House. Attending today’s ceremonial bill signing, in addition to Senator Quayle and Delegate Carrico, were Delegate Beverly Sherwood (R-Winchester); Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker; Deputy Secretary of Public Safety John Buckovich; Virginia State Police Deputy Superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Robert B. Northern; and Wayne Huggins, Executive Director of the Virginia State Police Association.

Speaking about SB95, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Virginia’s law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day they report for duty. It is their selfless service and heroism that helps to ensure Virginia’s streets and neighborhoods remain safe. Understanding the dangers of their job, it is critical that we provide adequate support should they be injured in the line of duty. SB95 enables our state police to fully recover from line of duty incidents and have financial security while doing so. Our state police officers are some of the finest men and women serving Virginia. It is important we do everything we can to adequately provide for them in times of need and help them recover and return to work.”

Senator Fred Quayle, sponsor of SB95, also commented, "A state police officer recovering from an injury suffered while protecting Virginians should not also have to worry about how to pay his or her bills. This legislation gives officers peace of mind during a difficult time. It will also help the Virginia State Police retain more officers by allowing injured members the extra time they need to heal before having to decide whether or not they can return to service. It is one more way by which we can support the men and women who keep us safe. "

Delegate Bill Carrico noted, “Virginia State Police officers are there for us, every day and every hour. When they need us, we should be there for them. With this legislation we are extending short term disability benefits, but, more than that, we are extending the thanks of a grateful Commonwealth. Public safety is the foremost priority of government, and this legislation further demonstrates that we will not forget that simple truth in Virginia.”

Wayne Huggins, Executive Director of the Virginia State Police Association, noted, “This legislation will benefit the citizens of Virginia by protecting the investment they make in public safety and the State Police officers who have been injured in the line of duty and sacrifice so much.”

“On behalf of the state police, I thank the patrons who enabled this legislation to become a reality for our sworn law enforcement personnel,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As if being severely injured while protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth wasn’t sacrifice enough, too many of our members over the years have also had to endure the financial hardship of losing or taking a significant cut in pay while on temporary disability. This law will allow Virginia’s troopers and agents the time they need to fully recover from an injury without the fear and pressure of running out of time and a paycheck.”

Over a dozen State Police officers were injured this year in the Commonwealth while responding to winter storms.

To learn more about SB95, please visit:

Contact: Stacey Johnson, Press Secretary (804) 786-2211

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