Claims Likely To Derail Firefighter Benefit Effort

December 23, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) — Two key Arizona legislators said financial claims from the families of some firefighters who died in a wildfire this summer will likely sidetrack an effort to give extra benefits to survivors of part-time crew members.

House Speaker Andy Tobin and Rep. John Kavanagh both said the chances of pushing though a package to even out the full-time and part-time survivor benefits are in doubt. The families of part-time firefighters received far fewer benefits than full-timers.

Families of a dozen members of Prescott's Granite Mountain Hotshots are seeking more than $220 million from the state, Prescott and Yavapai County. A special House committee held hearings in October on ways to add benefits for the families of part-timers. Nineteen members of the crew died battling a wildfire in Yarnell on June 30.