COLUMBUS — State Reps. Craig S. Riedel (R-Defiance) and Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) today announced in a Statehouse press conference the introduction of legislation offering law enforcement and first responders a one-time bonus award for their work during the pandemic.
“This bill provides an excellent use of federal funds to support our first responders and law enforcement in Ohio,” said Riedel. “These dedicated Ohioans put their lives at risk to keep our state safe, especially over the past year and a half. This is a way for the State of Ohio to say to law enforcement and first responders that we have your back because we know you have ours!”
Eligible individuals include police officers, firefighters, State Highway Patrol officers, county deputy sheriffs, Bureau of Criminal Identification agents, jail officers, volunteer firefighters, and emergency medical technicians.
“In Ohio, we strongly support our brave first responders,” said Plummer. “The goal of this legislation is to provide a small token of gratitude to these men and women for their tireless work during the pandemic and their service each day to our communities.”
Under the bill, those eligible for the bonus award must have been continuously employed from March 1, 2020 and not subject to any form of disciplinary action. Full-time first responders would receive $1,000, and part-time and volunteer first responders would receive $500. Each employer is required to certify who is eligible to the Attorney General within 30 days of the bill’s effective date.
At the press conference, Reps. Riedel and Plummer were joined by Attorney General Dave Yost who explained his office’s role in distributing these funds.
“More law enforcement officers died in the line of duty last year than any previous year, with the leading cause of death being COVID-19,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “This premium pay sends a strong message to all Ohioans and to those who shoulder the burden of keeping our community safe that we value and appreciate what law enforcement officers do as the bedrock of a civilized society.”
The bill with 14 co-sponsors was dropped today following the press conference.
Today’s press conference can be viewed here: