CRC - 2017 P 49 By Commissioner Gainey gaineye-00077-17 201749__ 1 A proposal to create 2 a new section in Article X of the State Constitution 3 to establish the rights to certain death benefits to 4 the survivors of specified first responders and 5 military members. 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 and 15 military members.— 16 (a) A death benefit shall be paid by the employing agency 17 when a firefighter; a paramedic; an emergency medical 18 technician; a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional 19 probation officer; or a member of the Florida National Guard, 20 while engaged in the performance of their official duties, is: 21 (1) Accidentally killed or receives accidental bodily 22 injury which results in the loss of the individual’s life, 23 provided that such killing is not the result of suicide and that 24 such bodily injury is not intentionally self-inflicted; or 25 (2) Unlawfully and intentionally killed or dies as a result 26 of such unlawful and intentional act or is killed during active 27 duty. 28 (b) A death benefit shall be paid by funds from general 29 revenue when an active duty member of the United States Armed 30 Forces is: 31 (1) Accidentally killed or receives accidental bodily 32 injury which results in the loss of the individual’s life, 33 provided that such killing is not the result of suicide and that 34 such bodily injury is not intentionally self-inflicted; or 35 (2) Unlawfully and intentionally killed or dies as a result 36 of such unlawful and intentional act or is killed during active 37 duty. 38 (c) An eligible first responder must have been working for 39 the State of Florida or any of its political subdivisions or 40 agencies at the time of death. An eligible military member must 41 have been a resident of this state or whose duty post was within 42 the State of Florida at the time of death. 43 (d) Payments authorized under subsections (a) and (b), 44 regardless of whether secured by insurance, shall be made to the 45 beneficiary that is designated by such first responder or 46 military member through a written designation signed by the 47 first responder or military member and delivered to the 48 employing agency during the first responder or military member’s 49 lifetime. If no such designation is made, the payment shall be 50 made to the first responder’s or military member’s surviving 51 child or children and spouse in equal portions, and if there is 52 no surviving child or spouse, then to the first responder’s or 53 military member’s parent or parents. If a beneficiary is not 54 designated and there is no surviving child, spouse, or parent, 55 the payment shall be made to the first responder or military 56 member’s estate. 57 (e) Payments that are made pursuant to subsections (a) 58 through (d) are in addition to any workers’ compensation or 59 pension benefits and are exempt from the claims and demands of 60 creditors of the first responder or military member. 61 (f) If a firefighter; a paramedic; an emergency medical 62 technician; a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional 63 probation officer; or an active duty member of the United States 64 Armed Forces or Florida National Guard is accidentally killed as 65 specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(1), or unlawfully and 66 intentionally killed as specified in paragraphs (a)(2) and 67 (b)(2), the state shall waive certain educational expenses that 68 the child or spouse of the deceased first responder or military 69 member incurs while obtaining a career certificate, an 70 undergraduate education, or a postgraduate education. The amount 71 waived by the state shall be an amount equal to the cost of 72 tuition and matriculation and registration fees for a total of 73 120 credit hours. The child or spouse may attend a state career 74 center, a Florida College System institution, or a state 75 university. The child or spouse may attend any or all of the 76 institutions specified in this subsection, on either a full-time 77 or part-time basis. The benefits provided to a child under this 78 subsection continue until the child’s 25th birthday. The 79 benefits provided to a spouse under this subsection must 80 commence within 5 years after the death occurs, and entitlement 81 thereto shall continue until the tenth anniversary of that 82 death. 83 (g) This section does not limit the legislature from 84 enacting laws consistent with this section. 85 (h) This amendment becomes effective upon approval by the 86 electors.