Several changes have been made to the 2021 law enacting the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program that provides services and financial support to firefighters developing critical illnesses including, but not limited to, cardiac disease and cancer.
Effective May 3, 2022, a new law clarifies which diagnoses are eligible for payments from the program and clarifies that a firefighter is eligible for financial payments for a critical illness only if the diagnosis was made on or after Aug. 1, 2021.
The assistance program is funded through a $4 million annual appropriation from the General Fund for payments of up to $20,000 for each eligible firefighter.
The law also changes the state agency administering program funds from the Office of Justice Programs to the State Fire Marshal.
Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-Hopkins) and Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsor the law.