The bill’s lead sponsor, Senator James E. Timilty, a Walpole Democrat, cochaired the special committee that led the 2010 study.
If every auto insurance holder in the state paid an annual $3 surcharge, it could generate an estimated $5 million for the training committee, Zivkovich said. The idea is modeled after the state’s firefighter training program, which is fully funded by a 0.5 percent surcharge on homeowners’ insurance policies.
A similar proposal calling for an auto insurance surcharge was unsuccessfully introduced in Governor Deval Patrick’s budget last year. That left some law enforcement officials feeling discouraged about the current bill’s chances, said Plymouth Police Chief Michael E. Botieri.
“It’s an unfunded mandate,” Botieri said. “Each chief keeps their officers trained to the level that they think is appropriate. You won’t be called to task on it until a lawsuit is filed and you have to account for it. I don’t want to be the chief to say, ‘I didn’t train [my officers] because the state didn’t fund us.’ ”