Injured public employees get a win

The Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly(Edward Crim |
Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 12:39 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Public employees injured on the job got a win at the Kentucky State Capitol.

Senate Bill 139, which will increase benefits from 25 percent of an injured worker’s salary to 75 percent, passed the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill means more than a piece of legislation to people like Cathy and Darrell Hyche.

In February, Cathy Hyche told WAVE 3 News that her family faced receiving only $11,000 a year of her husband’s LMPD salary if he took medical leave.

Darrell Hyche was shot twice in the head while investigating a drug cartel in 2018. He survived but suffered massive injuries he still deals with today, including debilitating migraines, memory loss, painful nerve damage, a dislocated jaw and PTSD.

“I was hysterical,” recalled Cathy Hyche, a JCPS teacher. “You can’t wrap your mind around your spouse being shot in the head because you know what that means,” Cathy Hyche said. “People don’t survive that.”

The state law previously allowed for public employees on medical leave in the pension system to receive 25 percent of their salary. The new bill would triple that amount.

The bill had faced opposition from the League of Cities, which argued it could cost too much.

Lawmakers didn’t agree.

The new bill will allow for families like Cathy’s to not have to worry about struggling financially on top of the difficulties from the injuries.

The bill now heads to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk for his official signature.

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