Statement from Comptroller Susana Mendoza on House passage of two COVID first responder bills.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

I am thrilled to see House lawmakers vote unanimously for HB 4321, extending the presumption that a downstate firefighter or police officer who contracted COVID-19 in the days before vaccines, did so on the job. This will ensure they receive the pension disability benefits they deserve. Thank you to sponsors Representative Michael Kelly and Assistant Minority Leader John Cabello for taking on this important cause. 

I also applaud the unanimous passage of HB 5104, which extends the time for when this presumption applies for Chicago police and firefighters. Thank you to Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman and Assistant Minority Leader Brad Stephens for your leadership on this bill. I look forward to swift passage of these bills in the Senate. 

I fought hard last year to enact parity for Chicago police officers, like my brother, who suffered several complications from the virus but were initially denied benefits. 

We must protect our first responders who were out on the front lines during the pandemic, selflessly putting themselves at risk while they did their jobs. That’s exactly what these bills will accomplish once enacted.