HARTFORD—House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora on Monday highlighted a new, lesser-known provision in the two-year state budget that provides more financial support for the families of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty.
The biennium budget signed by Gov. Lamont in June allocated $500,000 in each of fiscal years 2024 and 2025 to create the Fallen Officer Fund, an initiative proposed by House Republicans in the 2023 legislative session. The bill became an element of budget negotiations last spring after it garnered unanimous bipartisan support during the Appropriations Committee process.
“The women and men who work each and every day, risking their own lives to keep our communities safe, deserve to know that their loved ones will receive extra financial support should something happen to them while they are on the job,” said Candelora (R-North Branford). “I’m thankful that so many of my colleagues supported this concept, and that Comptroller Sean Scanlon took the intent of the legislature and crafted a framework for a benefit that will help law enforcement families when they need it most.”
Effective July 1, 2023, the fund covers any Connecticut state or municipal police officer as well as any auxiliary, intermittent, special, part-time, or reserve police officer. The family of an officer killed in the line of duty will receive a one-time lump sum benefit of $100,000, within available appropriations. The payment is not taxable under state law. It cannot be reduced or offset due to other benefits that may be awarded to families, such as financial assistance provided through the Police Association of Connecticut.
“As the son and brother of police officers, I am truly honored to have worked with Representative Candelora and our partners in law enforcement to establish the Fallen Officer Fund to support the families of Connecticut police officers or state troopers killed in the line of duty,” said Comptroller Scanlon.
Heading into the 2023 legislative session, House Republicans, Candelora said, were moved to act in response to rising danger faced by police officers.
“In the ongoing conversation about policies surrounding law enforcement and community policing, we must continue to be mindful of the everyday challenges and stresses officers and troopers face when doing their jobs and ensure that there’s balance in the policy decisions we make,” he said. “The Fallen Officer Fund is an example of that, and I look forward to working toward finding a way to make additional budgetary allocations toward it in the future.”