HARRISBURG – Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Hempfield) today introduced legislation to expand the Heart and Lung Act to provide law enforcement and firefighters with their salary should they be unable to work or are ordered to quarantine as a result of COVID-19. He was joined by Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown), a former Ferndale police chief, as the lead co-sponsor.
“In speaking with law enforcement officials, I was surprised to learn police officers are treated differently if they have to quarantine related to coronavirus,” Nelson said. “Some jurisdictions place officers on paid administrative leave, while others are required to use their personal sick time. This does not make sense. There should be a clear understandable process that is applied evenly for our vital law enforcement officers and first responders.”
“This bill is particularly important for these essential, life-sustaining public servants in rural areas of the Commonwealth," added Rigby. "In many cases, these men and women are employed full time by one municipality and also work part time for neighboring municipalities. Our bill would ensure fair treatment for them as they put their lives on the line.”
Pennsylvania’s Heart and Lung Act allows certain emergency responders to collect the full amount of their regular pay when injured in the line of duty. House Bill 2399
, which has bipartisan support with 59 co-sponsors, would build upon this law.
The 57th Legislative District includes the following Westmoreland County communities: the city of Greensburg; the townships of Hempfield (part) and Salem; and the boroughs of Delmont, Hunker, New Stanton, South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg and Youngwood.
The 71st Legislative District is made up of the City of Johnstown; the townships of Adams, Conemaugh, Richland, Stonycreek and West Taylor; the boroughs of Brownstown, Daisytown, Dale, East Conemaugh, Ehrenfeld, Ferndale, Franklin, Geistown, Lorain, Scalp Level, South Fork, Southmont, Summerhill and Westmont; and the borough of Paint in Somerset County.
Representative Eric Nelson
Representative Jim Rigby
71st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick