Illinois bill, inspired by fallen deputy Jacob Keltner, advances

Fallen officer graphic by MGN.
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Illinois Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday that could help children of fallen officers save up for college.

Senate Bill 457, introduced by Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), would make a scholarship available to children whose father or mother worked in law enforcement and were killed in the line of duty.

Stadelman says the legislation was inspired by the death of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner, who was killed in early March while serving an arrest warrant at a hotel in Rockford.

“When officers are killed in the line of duty, they’re families are often left with many burdens,” Stadelman said. “This legislation recognizes that and sends a message to those families that the state will do what it can to help.”

The University of Illinois currently offers one scholarship to children of veterans for wars and global conflicts for each county in the state. The bill would also make children of fallen officers eligible for that scholarship in each county.

The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives.