Widows react to slain-officers law - Tucson News Now

Widows react to slain-officers law

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Sherry Graham-Potter and her late husband, deputy Tim Graham of Pima County Sheriff's Office. Sherry Graham-Potter and her late husband, deputy Tim Graham of Pima County Sheriff's Office.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Widows of fallen law enforcement officers are speaking out about a new law granting them health benefits after their loved ones pass away.

The law -- signed by Gov. Jan Brewer Friday will extend health care coverage to the families left behind.

"Just trying to figure out how you're going to move forward," said Sherry Graham Potter. "How you're going to tell your children?"

Graham-Potter's world was turned upside down.

Eight years ago, she got the unbearable news that her husband, Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Graham was hit and killed by a car.

"It shatters your life. It changes everything that you ever believed you knew," said Graham-Potter.

Still having a difficult time grieving a few years after the incident, she says Pima County offered her insurance that would've cost her roughly a couple thousand dollars a month.

"It's just not something you want to deal with.. I have a child who has a chronic orthopedic issue," said Graham-Potter

But now Brewer signed a law helping widows of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters and correctional officers.

The premiums of widows and their children will be paid for until they re-marry, or become eligible for medicare.

Children would be covered until the age of 18, or 23 if they're attending college full-time.

The bill requires the state -- counties, cities and towns -- to pay the normal premiums of the surviving spouse.

It's a law widow Jan Blaser-Upchurch says is well worth it.

"Health insurance seems like a very small price to pay after everything they have paid," she said.

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