KULR8: Montana senators reintroduce “Putting First Responders First Act”

by Meridith Depping

Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) reintroduced a bill that looks 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.

According to a release, the “Putting First Responders First Act,” was inspired by the story of Ladd Paulson, a Billings police officer who is now retired.

“In 2002, Mr. Paulson was hit by an impaired driver while he was conducting a routine traffic stop on his motorcycle,” the release says. “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.”

Senator Daines sent the following statement on the legislation:

“Montana’s first responders risk their lives every day while serving our communities. 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.”

Senator Tester’s statement on the legislation:

“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. 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.”

Congressman Matt Rosendale’s statement on the legislation:

“I am proud to stand with our First Responders, not just during National Police Week, but every week of the year. 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.”