New Jersey's 7th Legislative District

Senator Diane Allen

Senator Diane Allen

Gov. Signs Allen Bill to Provide Death Benefits to All Children of State Troopers, Public Safety Workers

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Governor Christie has signed Senator Diane Allen’s (R-Burlington) bill to provide all surviving children of deceased New Jersey State Troopers, police, firefighters and public safety officers with equal access to death benefits.

Sen. Diane Allen’s bill, now law, ensures all surviving children of state troopers and public safety workers have equal access to death benefits. (Flickr)

“A child of a trooper, police officer or paramedic who was unmarried at the time of death is no less deserving than any other child who has lost their parent,” Senator Allen said. “Our community banded together to support a state trooper’s young family after he tragically died in the line of duty. Passing this law is the least we can do to ensure all children of public safety workers statewide continue to receive the support they deserve.”

Currently, surviving widows or widowers and their children receive 70 percent of a trooper’s State Police Retirement System pension, while children of unmarried officers, such as Trooper Sean Cullen’s two children, only receive a 20 percent benefit. Senator Allen’s bill, S-2061, ensures all children of fallen state troopers, police and firefighters receive the 70 percent benefit currently provided to surviving spouses and their children.

Qualified children would receive the benefits until they reach age 18, or age 24 if they are enrolled in college. This law includes the children of state troopers, police and firefighters who were killed on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

“Providing this equal access to death benefits honors our commitment to all of New Jersey’s lifesaving public servants, not just a select few,” Senator Allen added. “I am grateful to Senator Sweeney for his tireless work to pass this bill and to Governor Christie for supporting our efforts to correct this major oversight in state law.”

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