Rauner signs law providing more funding for police officers and their families
Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed House BIll 5513 into law, which provides additional funds for police officers and families.
Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said it was an honor to be in the presence of such overwhelming support for the signing of HB 5513.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Illinois State Police, we are profoundly grateful,” Schmitz said.
The legislation, signed July 30 by Rauner, is for Illinois' heroes, the state's leader said.
“They put their safety and their lives on the line every day to keep the people of Illinois safe,” Rauner said.
The bill creates additional financial support and the revenue will come from Illinois Lottery scratch-off games that will equally fund the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, Police Memorial Committee and the Illinois State Police Memorial Funds, Rauner said.
“This bill will also create funding to support our Gold Star families, the families of fallen officers whose children need scholarships and whose family needs financial support as they struggle with their day-to-day lives,” Rauner said. “They have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
The legislation was created by House Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). Reps. Dan Burke (R-Chicago), Fran Hurley (R-Oak Lawn) and Mike McAuliffe (R-Chicago) co-sponsored the bill.
Though he announced that the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham would not speak, Durkin made sure the audience knew how much Graham's support meant.
“Kevin, I want to thank you for joining us,” Durkin said, before detailing the Memorial Fund's history.
“Since 2004, the Illinois State Police Memorial Fund has worked to preserve the history of its officers with the construction of a museum,” he said.
The funds will also provide bulletproof vests to graduating officers, which would otherwise run $500.
“That $500 is a heavy expense and can make the difference between a family vacation or other family needs,” Durkin said.
The funds will help future generations, according to Schmitz.
“Although no amount of money could ever replace a loved one who has paid that ultimate sacrifice, I assure law enforcement and their families across this great state will be truly grateful to the assistance this bill gives,” he said.