Legislation to Expand Access to Health Insurance for Families of Fallen State Workers Signed into Law

On Friday, April 29th, Senate Bill 3197 was signed into law. The legislation expands access to health insurance benefits with no premium costs for the families of state employees who lose their life during employment. State Representative Tony McCombie (Savanna) was the lead sponsor of this legislation in the House of Representatives.

“In January we mourned the loss of yet another DCFS worker in Illinois,” said Rep. McCombie. “Pamela Knight and Deidra Silas gave their lives trying to protect small children, and while we cannot get their lives back, we can make sure their family has the means to take care of themselves. That is why I was proud to lead the effort to pass SB3197 through the House. This legislation will ensure that that survivors of State employees killed in the line of duty will be eligible for group health insurance regardless of their vested status.”

Senate Bill 3197 provides health insurance coverage to survivors and dependents of state employees who are killed in the line of duty, regardless of how long they had been employed.

It is retroactive for one year to include the family of Deidre Silas, a DCFS Child Welfare Specialist, who was slain while on duty conducting a visit to a home. Her survivors were not eligible for survivor benefits because she had five months of creditable service with DCFS, one month short of the six-months vesting requirement.

This law is effective immediately.