Law Would Offer Equal Compensation for Corrections Officers [AUDIO]
A bill being reintroduced in Trenton would put correctional officers who serve in the state's prisons on an equal footing with other law enforcement in New Jersey if they are injured by prisoners.
A bill sponsored by state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) entitles an injured correctional officer to their salary until workers' compensation begins when they are hurt by inmate violence.
Lance Lopez, president of PBA Local 105, said that as it stands right now, the prison officers only get 70 percent of their salaries.
"So now that officer who was injured has to maintain their medical benefits, continue to pay for their medical benefits and take care of their family," Lopez said. "This bill allows the State of New Jersey to pay the remaining 30 percent that the officer should have received as a result of those injuries."
The way the rules are configured right now in the state, correctional officers are not eligible for extended benefits, even if they suffer permanent injuries.
The legislation has been through Trenton before. Sponsors are confident in its ability to pass both the Assembly and Senate. But it is unclear if the legislation will get the support of Gov. Chris Christie.