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McDonnell signs bill to extend benefits for injured state troopers

Rosalind Helderman

state police.jpg
(Gov. Bob McDonnell, meeting Del. Bill Carrico (R-Galax), a former state police officer, and his family. Courtesy of Michaele White, governor's photographer.)

Gov. Bob McDonnell this morning signed legislation extending the amount of time a State Police officer who has been injured in the line of duty can receive 100 percent of his or her salary while on short-term disability leave from 125 day to six months. In some instances--when a medical evaluation shows the trooper might return to duty between six months and a year after injury--the benefit can be extended for up to a year.

Wayne Huggins, executive director of the Virginia State Police Association, said only about two to three troopers a year are so badly injured while on duty as to benefit from the extension. But he said the extension is an important sign of support for troopers and will help that handful remain on the force while recovering from difficult injuries.

McDonnell said the bill was a way to let injured troopers know that "on behalf of a grateful Commonwealth we appreciate what they've done, and we're going to make sure they and their families are taken care of financially as they recover from their injuires."

On hand for the ceremony were bill sponsors Sen. Fred Quayle (R-Suffolk) and Del. Bill Carrico (R-Galax), a former state police officer who spent eight months in a body cast in 1998 after he was rear-ended while on his way to a traffic accident.

Meanwhile, a humble suggestion for the governor's office. Have they checked out these standard issue, 60-cent apparent wonder pens?

Because the governor may find better luck with them than with the ceremonial pens he now uses to put his signature on bills. At just about every signing, he seems to find it hard to get the ink flowing from the ceremonial pens, which are then awarded to lawmakers who have sponsored the bill at hand.

"We buy them with the ink for two words--Robert McDonnell," he joked as he encountered the problem today. "And some of them don't have that much."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  June 4, 2010; 11:49 AM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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