- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The maximum age of eligibility for state pension benefits for young adult children of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty is increasing under a measure Gov. Larry Hogan signed on Monday.

Hogan signed the bill at a ceremony attended by the families of Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies Patrick Dailey and Mark Logsdon, who were killed in February by a gunman. The measure increases the maximum age for eligible surviving children from 18 to 26.

“Our state owes families like those of deputies Dailey and Logsdon a tremendous debt, and this is one small way that we can honor their sacrifice,” Hogan said of the law that takes effect immediately.

Dailey had more than 30 years of service, and he is survived by two sons who are 20 and 17 years old. Under the old law, one of Dailey’s sons was not eligible for a survivor benefit, because he is older than 18. The other was eligible for a line-of-duty death benefit for about three months.

The Republican governor also signed two environmental measures: One sets a new 40 percent greenhouse-gas-reduction target for 2030. It builds on a 2009 state law that required Maryland to reduce emissions 25 percent by 2020 from 2006 levels. Hogan noted the measure includes important protections for businesses to make sure the ambitious targets don’t cost the state jobs.

“The bill reflects Governor Hogan’s commitment to finding common ground for the common good,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “When we do this right, we create a climate of opportunity for balanced environmental and economic progress that also boosts energy security and community resilience.”

Supporters say the measure is one of the most ambitious greenhouse-gas-reduction requirements set by a state legislature.

“The bipartisan support for our Greenhouse Gas Emissions bill illustrates the recognition that climate change is the single most important global issue for future generations,” said Del. Kumar Barve, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the bill, along with Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s.

Hogan also signed a measure to restore funding to the state’s open-land-preservation program known as Program Open Space. The law will return $60 million over the next two years to the program, which was tapped to help balance the state’s budget in the years following the recession.

Maryland’s legislative session ends April 11

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