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Patrick Signs Bill To Increase Police & Fire Line Of Duty Death Benefits

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The flag draped between fire trucks  for the funeral procession for Lt. Ed Walsh. (Photo by Beth Germano-WBZ-TV)

The flag draped between fire trucks for the funeral procession for Lt. Ed Walsh. (Photo by Beth Germano-WBZ-TV)

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill increasing the state’s line-of-duty death benefit for the families of public safety officers.

The Massachusetts House and Senate quickly approved the bill after two Boston firefighters — Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh — died in a blaze in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood March 26.

The bill would increase from $100,000 to $150,000 the death benefit the state pays to the families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.

The benefit had remained unchanged since the law had passed in 1994.

The additional benefits would be available to the families of Kennedy and Walsh, as well as the family of Plymouth police officer Gregory Maloney, who died when his police motorcycle crashed April 1.

Patrick said he was honored to sign the bill.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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