VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Timothy M.
Kaine on Friday proposed increased retirement benefits for law
enforcement officers and protections for Virginia National Guard and
Kaine said he would propose the public safety
initiatives to the 2007 General Assembly, which convenes next week.
"We ask you to be there for us in those most
desperate moments in people's lives," Kaine told law enforcement
officials and National Guard members at Camp Pendleton State
Military Reservation. "The future of our commonwealth is very much
tied up with your future."
Kaine said he will submit a proposal that
would raise the average annual retirement compensation for state
police officers by $3,000, which he said will help state police
recruit and retain officers.
He also proposed funding to encourage local
governments to increase retirement benefits for sheriff's deputies.
The governor noted that in 2006 Virginia lost
11 law enforcement officers on the job - more than in any year in
the past decade.
Kaine said he has identified existing state
funds to address law enforcement retirement issues - $11.5 million
for sheriff's deputies and $2.3 million for state police.
The governor's budget proposal also includes
$8.2 million to increase salaries for officers and supervisors in
the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile
Kaine said he also will ask the General
Assembly to appropriate $1 million to fund benefits through the
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program,
formerly known as the Virginia War Orphans Education Program.
The program provides free tuition and other
benefits for spouses and children of military service members who
are killed, missing in action, taken prisoner or become at least 90
Kaine also proposed changes to smooth the
process when active guard members challenge private sector