Senator Madden Bill To Help Surviving Spouses Of Public Safety Workers Killed In The “Line-Of-Duty” Clears the Senate
On March 26, Senator Madden’s Bill, S376, which eliminates the eligibility time limit on tuition benefits for spouses of certain public safety workers killed in performance of their duties passed out of the Senate with a vote of 36 – 0.
Children and surviving spouses of certain public
safety workers, e.g., members of a police or fire
department, who are killed in the line-of-duty may be eligible for a higher education tuition benefit. Currently, however, this benefit is limited to eight years for a surviving spouse and eight years following high school graduation for a child. This bill would eliminate the time limit on spouses.
For such eligible surviving spouses and children, the State would pay tuition to a public university or at least partial tuition to a private institution. By
removing the eligibility time limit on spouses, this bill would open up educational opportunities and job prospects for many residents who were previously ineligible.
Senator Madden has seen first-hand how a death in the line-of-duty of a loved one can affect a family. Coping with the death of a spouse is never easy, but he hopes that by removing this time limit, at least some financial burden can be alleviated for those whose spouses paid the ultimate price in service to their community.
S376 now heads to the Assembly.