Obenshain Statement on the Line of Duty Act Bill Advancing to Senate Floor   

January 26, 2023

RICHMOND, VA – Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) issued the following statement in response to SB 1228 reporting unanimously from the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee yesterday. 

The tragic death of two officers almost a year ago at Bridgewater College still stings our community. After the death of John Painter and J.J. Jefferson, it came to light that they were not eligible for any death benefits as police officers because private college police departments were not eligible to enroll in the state administered Line of Duty Act (LODA.)  I am grateful that Governor Youngkin offered a budget amendment last year which provided both families with the death benefit that would have been available to any other law enforcement office who died in the line of duty. I strongly suspect that this was an inadvertent oversight that escaped notice until the death of two officers. I promised the Governor and private colleges last year that I would introduce legislation this year to make them eligible to enroll in this program. If a private college elects to enroll, they would be required to pay premiums for participation, so they will pay their own way. With the advancement of my bill, we are making progress in our efforts to do right by law enforcement officers and their families,” Obenshain said.

“I am pleased that the bill reported from committee with votes from Democrats and Republicans and I am looking forward to its final passage in the Senate later this week.”

The full text of SB 1228 can be found here.  Senator Obenshain’s full list of legislation for the 2023 session can be viewed here.

SB 1228 will now move to the Senate Floor for a full vote later this week and then will move to the House of Delegates.

Senator Obenshain currently represents the twenty-sixth district in the Senate of Virginia. The district includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page Rappahannock and Rockingham (part). He is a member of the Senate Judiciary; Commerce & Labor; Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources; and Transportation Committees.