About three years ago, Dave Kampa, an investigator at Stillwater Prison with more than 30 years of experience in corrections, was violently attacked while breaking up a gang fight.
After being struck in the head, he fell, hit his head on a bar and said he doesn’t remember a thing after that moment.
As a result of the attack, Kampa suffered a severe brain injury that left him permanently disabled in the line of duty. Unable to work, Kampa retired.
Kampa’s health care costs have since skyrocketed from $183/month to more than $1,600 a month.
After hearing that story, Sens.Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point) and Barb Goodwin (DFL-Columbia Heights) joined forces to author bipartisan legislation giving affordable health care to corrections employees who are rendered permanently disabled in the line of duty.
The bill passed through committee and will be going to the senate floor for a full vote.
“It just breaks your heart that this could happen,” Housley said.“Providing affordable health care to a state employee permanently disabled on the job is the right thing to do.”
Senate File 1737 was drafted to help state employees like Kampa, Housley said.
The proposal provides affordable health care to state employees who are assaulted by an inmate at state correctional facilities under the control of the commissioner of corrections, and then determined to be totally and permanently disabled under current laws.
When this occurs, the department of corrections must continue to make the employer contribution for hospital, medical and dental benefits under SEGIP after the person terminates state service.
“If somebody gets as severely injured as Dave Kampa did on the job, it’s just fair that the state covers his health care,” Goodwin stated in a news release. “He shouldn’t be re-victimized with skyrocketing health care costs.”
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