FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2021
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa passed Senate Bill 1071 which will provide appropriate disability retirement benefits to state law enforcement officers who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty. The bill will now be sent to Governor Greg Abbott for final approval.
The current benefit for an officer who is catastrophically injured in the line of duty is based on an amount equal to 100% of the officer's average monthly compensation at the time of their injury. This amount is not sufficient to assist in the long-term financial needs of the officer and their families. The benefit also does not take into consideration what the officer might have earned had their career not been cut short.
SB 1071 will adjust the disability retirement benefit to an amount based on a monthly amount computed using the maximum salary authorized under the position classification salary schedule prescribed by the General Appropriations Act. It will also allow for adjustments from time to time, ensuring these officers and their families will always receive sufficient benefits even with changing inflation and cost of living.
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"Law enforcement officers have very dangerous jobs and they take extraordinary risks every day to keep our communities safe. Senate Bill 1071 ensures that our state law enforcement officers whose lives have been permanently altered by a catastrophic injury in the line of duty get the financial support they need for their families. I appreciate DPSOA President Richard Jankovski for bringing this issue to my attention and for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's support to get this bill passed."
The bill was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rafael Anchia, Chairman of the House Committee on Pensions, Investments & Financial Services. If signed by the Governor, this bill will take effect September 1, 2021.