TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A Senate panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would set death benefits that would be paid if law-enforcement officers, firefighters, other first responders, and military members are killed while on duty.

The proposal (SB 7098), sponsored by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, would carry out a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 7, passed by voters in November.

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The bill, in part, addresses law-enforcement officers, correctional officers, correctional probation officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and Florida National Guard members.

They would be entitled to $75,000 in death benefits if they accidentally die in the course of their duties and $225,000 if they are intentionally or illegally killed, such as if a law-enforcement officer is ambushed, Hooper said.

Also, the bill would create a $75,000 death benefit for military members who are Florida residents or stationed in the state and are killed on active duty and are engaged in official duties.

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The death benefit would be $25,000 if they are on active duty but are killed under other circumstances, according to a Senate staff analysis.

The state would pay the death benefits for military members. The bill was approved Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee.

A House version (HB 7105) has cleared the Appropriations Committee and is pending in the State Affairs Committee.

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