Developments since we wrote Friday night about a tv story on Officer Jason McKissack facing the loss of medical benefits because injuries from the attack on him in West Seattle a year and a half ago have left him unable to return to work:
*We’ve heard twice from Renee Maher, executive director of the law-enforcement advocacy group COMPAS and also the widow of Federal Way Police Officer Patrick Maher, killed in the line of duty seven years ago. She had more to say about the legislation mentioned in the story (which stalled last year but has been reintroduced this session):
COMPAS has made HB 1679 our priority for this legislative session. While we fully support and agree with the legislation that helps families of fallen officers, we believe that helping officers like Jason McKissack is just as important. I was part of the effort that got legislation passed in 2006 that provided medical insurance for families of officers killed in the line of duty. Imagine my shock and disgust to learn that financially, an officer’s family is better off if the officer dies in the line of duty (versus being disabled).
HB 1679 will provide medical insurance to Jason and his family. It is very do-able to get this legislation passed this session. We just need to spread the word and have people call their legislators to support this bill.
As discussed in comments following last night’s story, the bill is currently in the Ways and Means Committee of the state House. West Seattle Rep. Eileen Cody is a member of that committee. We e-mailed Rep. Cody to ask about its status and what people could do to voice support. Her reply today:
To move forward we will need to vote it out of the Ways and Means Committee again. I will check with Rep Simpson to see if he is planning on pushing the issue again this year. Interested constituents should contact Ways and Means Committee members to encourage action. We would not have to have another hearing on the bill this year since we had one last year. The chair just has to decide to bring it up for a vote.
The Legislature’s website says the committee is chaired by North Sound Rep. Kelli Linville; she and other members are listed here, and you can follow the links for their contact info. To e-mail Rep. Cody, start here.
*Meantime, our second message from Renee Maher included word that the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is now able to accept contributions for Officer McKissack’s medical fund:
2949 4th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98134
Subject line: Jason McKissack
There is also a link on the Seattle Police Guild website tonight with more info on the situation. Meantime, Q13 interviewed the McKissacks for a story aired tonight:
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