05.13.21

Daines, Tester Continue Fight for First Responders

Reintroduce bipartisan bill to help injured first responders

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) reintroduced their bipartisan bill, the “Putting First Responders First Act,” to clarify the current tax code to ensure first responders do not have to pay taxes on injury-related compensation when hurt in the line of duty.  Daines and Tester reintroduced the bill during National Police Week.

 

“Montana’s first responders risk their lives every day while serving our communities,” Daines said. “The last thing our first responders should have to worry about is paying taxes or burdensome audits after suffering an injury in the line of duty. I will always Back the Blue and work to support the brave men and women who wear the badge.”

 

“Every day, our first responders put their lives on the line to keep Montanans safe, and when they get injured in the line of duty, it’s our responsibility to have their backs,” said Tester. “This bipartisan legislation will make sure we uphold that commitment by preventing the IRS from getting in the way of the benefits these brave women and men have earned.”

 

For bill text, click HERE.

 

Congressmen Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Congressman Matt Rosendale is also cosponsor of the bill.

 

“I am proud to stand with our First Responders, not just during National Police Week, but every week of the year,” said Representative Rosendale. “This act will make it easier for those who have been hurt serving their communities get the compensation they deserve, without having to fight the IRS.”

 

Background: 

 

The legislation was inspired by the story of the now retired Billings police officer, Ladd Paulson. In 2002, Mr. Paulson was hit by an impaired driver while he was conducting a routine traffic stop on his motorcycle. He survived the near-death experience, but was left with severe injuries. After the accident, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited Mr. Paulson for five years in a row after he did not file taxes on treatment for his injuries.

 

Daines and Tester introduced the “Putting First Responders First Act” during National Police Week in the 115th and 116th Congresses.