Burzichelli: Survivor benefit program shouldn’t be phased out

TRENTON – Assemblyman John Burzichelli, (D-3), of Paulsboro, expressed dismay during a Budget Committee hearing Thursday that  less than 13 cents on the dollar goes toward funding Rutgers University, the state’s largest public university.  

But even more so, he was upset that a survivor benefit program of law enforcement officers is being phased out.

Higher education officials said there is still a memorial fund available that would cover children of law enforcement officers who died.

However, the fund does not cover children of firefighters and emergency medical technicians who died.

Burzichelli said that is “unacceptable.”

“Firefighters and EMTs are no less important,” he said.

Higher education officials told Budget Committee members that has a lot to do with the way the statute is written.

But Higher Education Secretary Rochelle Hendricks said she would revisit that issue.