|August 17, 2020
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is thanking President Donald J. Trump for signing the Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act. In May, Attorney General Moody led a bipartisan group of 52 attorneys general in support of the SAFR Act, urging Congress to pass the important change to allow families of law enforcement officers who die or are permanently impacted by COVID-19 to receive benefits. President Trump signed the SAFR Act into law late last week, now allowing families of first responders who die or are permanently and totally disabled as a result of COVID-19, to receive the same federal benefits extended to those of first responders otherwise killed or injured in the line of duty.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Our nation has now lost more law enforcement officers in the line of duty this year than we lost in all of 2019. COVID-19 and violent attacks on these heroes are the driving forces behind this disturbing increase. As the wife of a law enforcement officer, these grave statistics are personal to me and I am extremely grateful President Trump signed this vital piece of legislation to support the families of these brave public servants on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and many other dangerous crises facing our nation today.
“I was proud to lead attorneys general from across the country in support of this measure. As a member of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement, I am honored to work with the President, U.S. Attorney General and law enforcement leaders across our country to find additional ways to support our law enforcement heroes while improving policing to better serve all Americans.”
Prior to the passage and ratification of the SAFR Act, federal law only allowed survivors access to certain benefits if evidence is provided proving the deceased or permanently disabled first responder contracted COVID-19 while on duty. The SAFR Act establishes a temporary presumption that an officer contracted COVID-19 while on duty if diagnosed within 45 days of a first responder’s last shift. The new law ensures families of officers and first responders lost while fighting the pandemic do not face unnecessary barriers to benefits already promised under existing federal law.
The U.S. Senate passed the SAFR Act in May. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAFR Act last month. Earlier this year, Attorney General Moody sponsored a letter sent to Congress signed by more than 50 attorneys general.
To read the letter, click here.
To view a video about the federal legislation released in May, click here.
Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine co-sponsored Attorney General Moody’s letter. The attorneys general who joined the call to action include: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.