Whelan Amendment Appears to Aid Family of Worcester Officer

Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

WORCESTER, Mass. (State House News Service) -- The House accepted only three amendments to the budget bill it passed Thursday -- a broad extension of pandemic-era voting reforms, a report deadline change and a vaguely titled "pension amendment" filed by Brewster Rep. Tim Whelan.

The Republican's amendment, which was co-sponsored by the entire Worcester delegation, numerous central Mass. representatives and others with law enforcement backgrounds, adds one clause to the law related to pensions for the spouses of police, firefighters and corrections officers who die in the line of duty and appears to offer assistance to the family of Worcester Police Officer Enmanuel Familia.

It would provide a pension to a surviving spouse "if a police officer while in the performance of his duties and as the result of an accident that occurs while such officer is attempting to make a rescue of a member of the public or emergency personnel and sustains injuries which result in death."

Familia, 38, died June 4 while attempting to rescue a drowning teenager at Green Hill Pond in Worcester.

He was a five-year veteran of the Worcester police force and is survived by a wife and two children.

The amendment was adopted on a voice vote without discussion Thursday shortly before the House adjourned in memory of Familia.

The Senate, which will consider its own amendments when it takes up the budget bill, also adjourned Thursday in memory of Familia.

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