Eye On Boise

Jorgenson: 'I could be happy and end my career'

Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, sponsored legislation that passed the Senate 34-1 on Thursday to help law enforcement officers who are permanently disabled in the line of duty with health insurance costs for their families. Jorgenson worked on the bill for five years, after Coeur d'Alene police officer Mike Kralicek suffered critical injuries when he was shot in the face by a fleeing suspect in 2004; Kralicek lost the health insurance he used to provide for his family once he was no longer employed, so the family has to buy its own insurance. The bill funds the program entirely through slightly increased retirement contributions from the officers it covers. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, sponsored legislation that passed the Senate 34-1 on Thursday to help law enforcement officers who are permanently disabled in the line of duty with health insurance costs for their families. Jorgenson worked on the bill for five years, after Coeur d'Alene police officer Mike Kralicek suffered critical injuries when he was shot in the face by a fleeing suspect in 2004; Kralicek lost the health insurance he used to provide for his family once he was no longer employed, so the family has to buy its own insurance. The bill funds the program entirely through slightly increased retirement contributions from the officers it covers. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Here's a link to my full story on the Idaho Senate's near-unanimous passage today of legislation to help permanently disabled law enforcement officers like Mike Kralicek of Coeur d'Alene with health insurance costs for their families. Kralicek himself won't benefit from the bill; it'll help others like him who are injured in the future. But the Coeur d'Alene police officer who was shot in the face by a fleeing, handcuffed suspect three days after Christmas in 2004 and suffered critical brain and spinal cord injuries is a big supporter of the bill, as is his wife, Carrie.

"I think it's about time we get something in there," Kralicek told The Spokesman-Review. Carrie Kralicek praised the bill's sponsor, Hayden Lake Sen. Mike Jorgenson. "He's been behind us 100 percent, all of the way from the beginning," she said. For his part, Jorgenson said, "I feel pretty good about getting this done. ... I felt like if I could get this bill passed, I could be happy and end my career. I feel like this is one of the most meaningful bills I've ever worked on." The bill, SB 1111, now moves to the House.




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