33-4302A Public Safety Officer Dependent Scholarships -- State Aid.

Public safety officer dependent scholarships -- State aid. (1) Any dependent of a full-time or part-time public safety officer, as defined in subsection [(]5[)] of this section, employed by or volunteering for the state of Idaho or for a political subdivision of the state of Idaho, which public safety officer is or was a resident of the state of Idaho at the time such officer was killed or disabled in the line of duty shall be admitted to attend any public institution of higher education or public professional-technical college within the state of Idaho without the necessity of paying tuition and fees therefor. Said dependents shall be provided by the institution or college with books, equipment and supplies necessary for pursuit of the dependent's chosen program of enrollment not to exceed the actual cost therefor, or five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is less, per quarter, semester, intensified semester, or like education period. Said dependent shall be provided with the institution or college's published normal on-campus residential facility housing and meals program for each month the dependent is enrolled full time under this statute and continues to actually reside in such on-campus residential facility. Provided however, that the educational benefits provided for in this section shall not exceed a total of thirty-six (36) months or four (4) nine-month periods; provided further, that such educational benefits shall not extend beyond ten (10) years following the date the dependent receives a high school diploma, a high school equivalency diploma, a special diploma or a certificate of high school completion, or beyond the date such dependent turns thirty (30) years old, whichever comes first.

(2) The dependent shall be required to meet the educational qualifications as such institution of higher education or professional-technical college as established for other prospective students of this state. Application for eligibility under this section shall be made to the state board of education and board of regents of the University of Idaho. The board shall verify the eligibility of the dependent and communicate such eligibility to the dependent and the affected institution or college.

(3) Affected institutions and colleges shall, in their preparation of future budgets, include therein costs resulting from such tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, equipment and supplies for reimbursement thereof from appropriation of state funds.

For the purposes of this section, a public safety officer employed by or volunteering for the state of Idaho or for a political subdivision of the state of Idaho is considered disabled if he or she is unable to perform with reasonable continuity the material duties of any gainful occupation for which he or she is reasonably fitted by education, training and experience.

(4) The scholarships provided in this section shall be available for dependents of public safety officers who were killed or disabled in 1975 or thereafter.

(5) For purposes of this section:

(a) "Public safety officer" means a peace officer or firefighter, or a paramedic, emergency medical technician or first responder as those terms are defined in section 56-1012, Idaho Code.

(b) "Volunteering" means contributing services as a bona fide member of a legally organized law enforcement agency, fire department or licensed emergency medical service provider organization.

(6) The scholarship provided in this section shall not be available unless it is determined that:

(a) The death or disablement of the public safety officer occurred in the performance of the officer's duties;

(b) The death or disablement was not caused by the intentional misconduct of the public safety officer or by such officer's intentional infliction of injury; and

(c) The public safety officer was not voluntarily intoxicated at the time of death.