Gov. Phil Murphy signed the “Dominick Marino PFRS Enhanced Benefits for Surviving Spouses Act” into law on Friday, providing added benefits to spouses of deceased first responders.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The health and well-being of his firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, as well as their families, were very important to our father. He continued to work hard and fight for them every day,” the Marino Family said in a joint statement.
“This bill is just one example of his hard work and dedication to them, and we are honored to have this bill named after him.”
Dominick Marino, a former president of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey who also served as a North Bergen firefighter, died suddenly of a heart attack back in April.
The new law, which was sponsored in the state Senate by Nick Sacco (D-32) and Brian Stack (33), will provide financial security for a member’s surviving spouse by ensuring that the accidental death benefit provided by the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System cannot be below $50,000 annually.
“A fierce advocate who put his heart and soul into everything he did for his PFANJ brothers and sisters, Dominick was a dear friend to me and to so many of us,” stated Murphy.
“It is my great honor to sign this bill to cement Dominick’s legacy and help ensure that our first responders’ loved ones who are left behind are taken care of.”
“Senate Bill 487, named after Past-President Dominick Marino exemplifies ‘Donnie’ and all that he represented as President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ) before his untimely death in April 2020,” added current PFANJ President Steve McConlogue.
In the lower house, the bill was sponsored by Assembly members Carol Murphy (D-7), Angelica Jimenez, and Pedro Mejia (both D-32).
“Too many of our first responders, unfortunately, give their lives to keep their communities safe. We will never be able to fully give back to those brave heroes, but the very least we can do is make sure their families are cared for,” the three legislators said in a joint statement.
“Expanding the accidental death pension will benefit many families of fallen police officers and firefighters. It’s another way we can continue to express our utmost respect and gratitude for their loved one’s service.”