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One Lawmaker Hopes This Is The Year For Death Benefits Changes

Florida Forest Service

When an impasse between the Florida House and Senate shut the last regular legislative session down early, a number of bills fell through the cracks. Now lawmakers are working to breathe life into those forgotten measures in time for the next session.

When the House gaveled out earlier than expected last legislative session, Sen. Jeremy Ring (D-Margate) says that killed a bill he had been hoping would get through.

“You know all of us last year had our disappointments the last week of session when we all had priorities that unfortunately were whisked away from us. I can tell you this bill was my biggest disappointment that didn’t pass through last year,” Ring says.

The measure increases the amount of money the family of a worker in an especially risky job, such as a police officer or fire fighter, would receive if their family member dies in the line of duty. Under current law families get about half their loved one’s salary. The bill would increase that to the full salary the person earned at the time of their death. Ring says the measure would have some retroactive application – going back to July of 2013.  A similar measure passed through the Senate unanimously last session.  Ring says he’s purposefully getting the ball rolling on the measure early this time, in an effort to give it the best chance of passing both chambers.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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