Posted on October 10, 2023
HARTFORD – State Rep. Tami Zawistowski (R-61) on Tuesday 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.
“Many of our bravest neighbors serve our communities every day as law enforcement officers and they deserve strong support from lawmakers – now they will know that Connecticut will support their family if something happens to them on the job,” Rep. Zawistowski said. “My House Republican colleagues and I recognized the need for this fund and that’s why we proposed it this session. I am thankful that the initiative received so much support and for the administration taking quick action to make it law.”
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.
Heading into the 2023 legislative session, House Republicans, Zawistowski said, were moved to act in response to rising danger faced by police officers.
“Local and state law enforcement officers have been clear that they face constant hurdles in their profession, mostly due to restrictive policies from Hartford. With that and the concerns for their personal safety, we must be unequivocal in our support for the work they do to keep us safe,” she said. “The Fallen Officer Fund is an opportunity to do just that and I look forward to future ways to support Connecticut law enforcement.”