Two state senators said Thursday they hope to craft a proposal in the waning days of the session to benefit the families of recently slain state insurance fraud investigators.
The proposal by state Sens. Dale Erdey and Eric LaFleur would allow the deaths of Rhett Jeansonne and Kim Sledge to qualify for a $250,000 benefit paid when law enforcement officers and firefighters are killed in the line of duty.
Jeansonne, 39, and Sledge, 44, were members of the state Insurance Department’s Fraud Unit. They died Tuesday when a Ville Platte businessman shot and killed them amid an investigation into his insurance practice.
Erdey, R-Livingston, said both investigators were parents. “They’re in harm’s way just as much as someone in uniform,” Erdey said.
LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, said they hope to amend a Senate bill upon which no action was taken, making it a viable instrument. They have less than two weeks to push the proposal to the governor’s desk before the 2011 Regular Legislative Session ends. “These are nontraditional investigators,” La-Fleur said.
He said the benefit would be expanded to apply to state employees killed while investigating criminal activity. He said the newly expanded benefit would apply to workers at the state Insurance Department, state Revenue Department and other state agencies.
LaFleur said the legislation they have in mind is Senate Bill 229, which originally aimed to increase supplemental pay for firefighters, police officers and others.
“We can fast pace it,” Erdey said.