House passes bill to make police death benefits tax-free

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Death benefits for the families of fallen police officers would not be subject to federal income tax under a bill passed by the House Tuesday as part of National Police Week.

The House voted 413-0 to pass the bill. It now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation has bipartisan support.

Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., sponsored the bill. He said it would ensure that the families of public safety officers receive their full benefits.

Paulsen said the bill clarifies federal law to make sure that both federal and state benefits for fallen public safety officers are treated the same in the tax code. Under the legislation, neither would be subject to the federal income tax.

The House passed several bills Tuesday showing support for law enforcement as officers from around the world gathered in Washington to recognize National Police Week.

A separate bill would set up a national alert system whenever a police officer is killed or injured. Supporters say the bill would ensure that information about suspects is quickly shared with other law enforcement agencies and the public.

The bill is named after New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were killed while on duty last year.

The program would be managed by the Justice Department. Participation by state and local police agencies would be voluntary. About 20 states already have similar systems.

The House passed the bill by a voice vote. The Senate passed the bill unanimously in April. It now goes to President Barack Obama.


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