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Prosecutors lose bid for police retirement benefits

A bill to bring Virginia commonwealth’s attorneys and their assistants under the pension plan for police officers has died in a House subcommittee.

Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant requested House Bill 1594. While prosecutors don’t face the same risks as officers, he said, they do encounter stress and threats on the job. He also said the favorable retirement plan would help keep lawyers on the job at prosecutors’ offices.

The Virginia Law Officers Retirement System (VaLORS) was set up 1999 to provide pension benefits for local police similar to those for state troopers. A 2009 study indicated the purpose of the special pension was to allow those with high risk duties to retire early for the safety of them and those they work with.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Sal Iaquinto, R-Virginia Beach, would have added prosecutors to VaLORS. It was supported by the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys, according to legislative chair Mike Doucette of Lynchburg.

Iaquinto’s office today advised the bill is dead.

By Peter Vieth