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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL)

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Rep. Kaohly Her Bill Applauds House Passage of Mental Health Resources for Peace Officers & Firefighters

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 1234, authored by Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL – Saint Paul). This bill establishes treatment requirements for mental illness for eligible peace officers and firefighters prior to applying for duty disability benefits. The bill also adds preservice and in-service wellness training requirements and appropriates money to reimburse employers. The bill passed on a vote of 89-41.

“This bill ensures we keep our critical pension systems sustainable for our current active members and for generations to come,” said Rep. Her. “By focusing on PTSD treatment, recovery, and return to the job, we are leading the nation with an innovative plan to address our first responders’ mental health while ensuring we are responsible stewards of state pension plans.”

The bill is targeted toward the treatment gap for officers and firefighters suffering from PTSD, and it addresses the Public Employee Retirement Association police and fire plan, which was upended by an increase in PTSD duty disability claims. These are top priorities for Minnesota’s counties, cities, pensions plans, police chiefs, and sheriffs. 

Video of the floor session will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube Channel.