New Florida bill protects families of fallen officers

On Monday, April 25, Governor Rick Scott held a special ceremony in Orlando for a bill he signed earlier this month. The bill, SB 7012, will help families of law enforcement officers and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. This will lift the financial burden put on families, providing the fallen officer's monthly salary to the beneficiary or family member for life. Surviving family members would also be given 90 days to opt for the defined benefit pension plan. The bill would expand pension benefits after an officer's death from 50 percent of their monthly salary to 100 percent of their monthly salary. However, these benefits would only apply to Florida's Special Risk class, which includes firefighters, correctional officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, probation officers and other employees who are put at risk within their job and who were killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2013. “Florida’s law enforcement officers and first responders put their lives on the line everyday to keep others safe,” said Gov. Scott. “We could never thank them enough for their sacrifice, but this legislation will ensure that these brave Floridians have the peace of mind knowing that their family will have financial support if the unthinkable were to ever happen.”

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