Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

House passes bill to help stanch rise in retirements among Minnesota first responders due to PTSD

Peace officers and firefighters are retiring at record rates, in large part due to post-traumatic stress disorder they develop because of the considerable job-related trauma they experience.

Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL-St. Paul) hopes to reverse that trend.

HF1234 would help first responders get the mental health services they need to keep them from early retirement due to post-traumatic stress disorder. The tide of early retirements due to PTSD is very burdensome on cities and counties struggling to pay disability pensions and contributes to a police staffing shortage, said Her, the bill sponsor.

The bill would require up to 32 weeks of mental health treatment before an applicant with a psychological condition, such as PTSD, or other serious mental health issue could apply for duty disability benefits. Public safety agencies would be required to continue paying the employee’s full salary and employer-provided benefits during the treatment period.

“(This is a) groundbreaking and historic attempt to reverse the increase in PTSD duty disability trends we’ve seen by putting the focus on treatment, recovery, and return,” Her said.

House members amended it twice during a Monday afternoon discussion before passing it 89-41 in the evening.

Preventing PTSD is also part of the bill through establishment of training programs to prepare public safety officers for the on-the-job trauma they will face and identify when officers have developed PTSD.

Students studying law enforcement and currently employed licensed police officers would also be required to undergo the training.

Her said several public safety organizations support the proposed legislation, including the St. Paul Fire Department, Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, and Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

Related Articles

Priority Dailies

House passes tax package that includes rebate checks, $1 billion in new revenues
Rep. Aisha Gomez and House Majority Leader Jamie Long talk during a break in the May 20 debate on HF1938, the tax finance and policy bill. (Photo by Catherine Davis) Is it the largest tax cut in Minnesota history? Or the biggest tax hike the state has ever experienced? Could it be both? That’s the crux of the debate about the conference ...
House passes finalized cannabis legalization bill, sends it to Senate
A supporter of cannabis legalization demonstrates in front of the Capitol in 2021. The House repassed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis, as amended in conference committee, May 18 and sent HF100 to the Senate. (House Photography file photo) The House gave the green light to adult-use recreational cannabis Thursday. “The day has finally arrived. Today is the day that we are going to vote here in the House for th...

Minnesota House on Twitter