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  • Summary date: Apr 10 2023 - View Summary

    Section 1

    Enacts GS 143-166.3(a1) to provide that on and after July 1, 2021, when any covered person under the Public Safety Employees' Death Benefits Act, Article 12A, who is a member of the State Highway Patrol is killed in the line of duty, in addition to the $100,000 award set forth in subsection (a), the Industrial Commission is required to award a death benefit of $900,000 to be paid to the surviving spouse, the dependent child or children, the surviving dependent parent(s), or the estate of the deceased covered person (in order of distribution, only moving to the next category of persons if the preceding is not applicable, with first rights to the surviving spouse). Makes conforming changes. 

    Appropriates $600,000 in recurring funds for each fiscal year of 2023-25 from the General Fund to the Department of State Treasurer to pay benefits provided under Article 12A of GS Chapter 143, as amended. 

    Effective July 1, 2023, and applies to qualifying deaths occurring on or after that date. 

    Section 2

    Enacts GS 15A-2001(b1) to bar the State from agreeing to accept a sentence of life imprisonment if the defendant enters a guilty plea to first degree murder in a case involving the murder of a law enforcement officer, employee of the Department of Adult Correction or the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, Division of Juvenile Justice, jailer, firefighter, judge or justice, former judge or justice, prosecutor or former prosecutor, juror or former juror, or witness or former witness against the defendant, while engaged in the performance of the person's official duties or because of the exercise of the person's official duty. Permits jury recommendation as to the appropriate sentence pursuant to GS 15A-2000. Effective December 1, 2023.

    Section 3 includes a severability clause.

    Section 4 provides a standard effective date provision.