CRC - 2017 P 57 By Commissioner Kruppenbacher kruppenbf-00069A-17 201757__ 1 A proposal to create 2 a new section in Article X of the State Constitution 3 to establish rights to certain death benefits to the 4 survivors of specified first responders, military 5 members, and public school employees. 6 7 Be It Proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission of 8 Florida: 9 10 A new section is added to Article X of the State 11 Constitution to read: 12 ARTICLE X 13 MISCELLANEOUS 14 Death benefits for survivors of first responders, military 15 members, and public school employees.— 16 (a) A death benefit shall be paid by funds from general 17 revenue when a firefighter; a paramedic; an emergency medical 18 technician; a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional 19 probation officer; an active duty member of the United States 20 Armed Forces or the Florida National Guard; or a public school 21 employee, while engaged in the performance of their official 22 duties, is: 23 (1) Accidentally killed or receives accidental bodily 24 injury which results in the loss of the individual’s life, 25 provided that such killing is not the result of suicide and that 26 such bodily injury is not intentionally self-inflicted; or 27 (2) Unlawfully and intentionally killed or dies as a result 28 of such unlawful and intentional act. 29 (b) In order to be eligible for payments authorized under 30 subsection (a): 31 (1) The first responder or public school employee must have 32 been working for the State of Florida or any of its political 33 subdivisions at the time of death. 34 (2) The military member must have been a resident of this 35 state or whose duty post was within the State of Florida at the 36 time of death. 37 (c) Payments authorized under subsection (a), regardless of 38 whether secured by insurance, shall be made to the beneficiary 39 that is designated by such first responder, military member, or 40 public school employee through a written designation signed by 41 the first responder, military member, or public school employee 42 and delivered to the employing agency during the first 43 responder’s, military member’s, or employee’s lifetime. If no 44 such designation is made, the payment shall be made to the first 45 responder’s, military member’s, or employee’s surviving child or 46 children and spouse in equal portions, and if there is no 47 surviving child or spouse, then to the first responder’s, 48 military member’s, or employee’s parent or parents. If a 49 beneficiary is not designated and there is no surviving child, 50 spouse, or parent, the payment shall be made to the first 51 responder’s, military member’s, or employee’s estate. 52 (d) Payments that are made pursuant to subsections (a) 53 through (c) are in addition to any workers’ compensation or 54 pension benefits and are exempt from the claims and demands of 55 creditors of the first responder, military member, or public 56 school employee. 57 (e) If a firefighter; a paramedic; an emergency medical 58 technician; a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional 59 probation officer; an active duty member of the United States 60 Armed Forces or the Florida National Guard; or a public school 61 employee is accidentally killed as specified in paragraph 62 (a)(1), or unlawfully and intentionally killed as specified in 63 paragraph (a)(2), the state shall waive certain educational 64 expenses that the child or spouse of the deceased first 65 responder, military member, or public school employee incurs 66 while obtaining a career certificate, an undergraduate 67 education, or a postgraduate education. The amount waived by the 68 state shall be an amount equal to the cost of tuition and 69 matriculation and registration fees for a total of 120 credit 70 hours. The child or spouse may attend a state career center, a 71 Florida College System institution, or a state university. The 72 child or spouse may attend any or all of the institutions 73 specified in this subsection, on either a full-time or part-time 74 basis. The benefits provided to a child under this subsection 75 continue until the child’s 25th birthday. The benefits provided 76 to a spouse under this subsection must commence within 5 years 77 after the death occurs, and entitlement thereto shall continue 78 until the tenth anniversary of that death. 79 (f) This section does not limit the legislature from 80 enacting laws consistent with this section. 81 (g) This amendment becomes effective upon approval by the 82 electors.