- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that would protect cities and towns from large insurance liabilities in the case of a disaster that results in the death or serious injury of a public safety employee.

House Speaker Andy Tobin says the bill would help cities like Prescott following the deaths of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire. House Bill 2693 distributes the cost of death and serious injury benefits among all members of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System instead of keeping it within the city or town for which those killed in the line of duty work.

Tobin says would protect Prescott from the approximate $5 million cost in death benefits to the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

The committee approved the bill Wednesday.

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