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Mendoza bill aimed to ‘improve’ classified employee death benefits clears first hurdle

By Brian Hews

A bill aimed to improve death benefits for classified employees cleared an important hurdle in Sacramento.
The new law, written by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza passed the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirements and Social Security with a vote of 4-2.
Mendoza said that AB 2606 will increase the death benefit for retired classified employees’ beneficiaries from $2,000 to $6,000. Teachers and current classified employees already receive a $6,000-death benefit.
“AB 2606 uses a phased in approach. Beginning in 2013, the death benefit will increase to $4,000, in 2014 it will increase to $5,000, in 2015 it will increase to $5,500 and in 2017, it will increase to $6,000. After 2017, the amount will be subject to COLA adjustments,” Mendoza stated in a press release.
“Under current law, a great disparity exists between the death benefit for retired classified employees who worked at our public schools, and their professional peers and retired teachers,” Assemblyman Mendoza said. “This disparity is unfair and unacceptable. The death benefit is intended to help loved ones cover funeral costs and the average funeral cost today is nearly $8,000.”
“Parity in death benefits is an issue classified employees have been pursuing for years,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza Press Secretary Haley Myers told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that the bill will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 9.

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