Senate OKs increase in line-of-duty death benefit

This combination made with undated photos released by the Boston Fire Department via Twitter shows firefighters Michael R. Kennedy, left, and Lt. Edward J. Walsh, who were killed Wednesday, March 26, 2014, when trapped the basement while fighting a fire in an apartment building in Boston. Kennedy, 33, a Marine Corps combat veteran was assigned to Ladder 15, and had been a firefighter for more than six years. Walsh, 43, and a father of three, was assigned to Engine 33, and had been a firefighter for almost a decade. (AP Photo/Boston Fire Department)
This combination made with undated photos released by the Boston Fire Department via Twitter shows firefighters Michael R. Kennedy, left, and Lt. Edward J. Walsh, who were killed Wednesday, March 26, 2014, when trapped the basement while fighting a fire in an apartment building in Boston. Kennedy, 33, a Marine Corps combat veteran was assigned to Ladder 15, and had been a firefighter for more than six years. Walsh, 43, and a father of three, was assigned to Engine 33, and had been a firefighter for almost a decade. (AP Photo/Boston Fire Department)

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has joined the House in voting unanimously to increase the state’s line-of-duty death benefit for the families of public safety officers.

The vote on Thursday came as a funeral service was held for Firefighter Michael Kennedy, one of two Boston firefighters who died in a blaze in the Back Bay neighborhood last week. A funeral was held on Wednesday for Lt. Edward Walsh.

The bill that now goes to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk 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 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 Tuesday when his police motorcycle crashed.

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