Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- A hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Capitol regarding House Speaker Andy Tobin's bill to help the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who were killed in June during the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The hearing will consider upping the benefits of 13 seasonal hotshots to match those of six full-time hotshots -- all of which were killed -- and to make ensure all seasonal hotshots receive the equivalent of full-time benefits.

"They (Granite Mountain seasonal hotshots) were not covered under many of our laws including pension and survival benefits," said Assistant House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego. "We are trying to find a way to get them included. If we're going to be putting men and women in harm's way and expecting them to have the same level of professionalism as our fulltime firefighters and hotshots then we need to pay them and give the full benefits to them and their families as full timers. It's not fair."

Gallego serves on the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee that will hear Tobin's bill, which seeks to provide Yarnell with the money needed to repair infrastructure damaged in the fire, including broken water lines that crushed under the weight of heavy fire equipment. Gallego said that would cost Arizona about $2 million.

"We should do this right away and quit messing around with this," adding that Arizona has about $500,000 in the fund.

Gallego said the final decision that affects Yarnell and the families of the hotshots may have to wait until lawmakers go back into session in January, but there is the possibility of a special session being called.

"It this isn't done correctly we could get sued and have the money taken away," he said. "We need to do this in a proper manner so we don't cause more emotional pain."

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: