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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled HB 23                                                                                                          
01 Creating a fund in the Department of Public Safety; providing for payment of certain medical                            
02 insurance premiums for surviving dependents of certain peace officers or firefighters who die                           
03 in the line of duty; relating to contributions from permanent fund dividends to the peace                               
04 officer and firefighter survivors' fund; and providing for an effective date.                                           
05                           _______________                                                                               
06    * Section 1. AS 39 is amended by adding a new chapter to read:                                                       
07             Chapter 60. Peace Officer and Firefighter Survivors' Fund.                                                  
08            Sec. 39.60.010. Peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund established. (a)                               
09       The peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund is established in the general fund for                          
10 the purpose of paying medical insurance premiums for an eligible surviving spouse or                                    
11 dependent child of a peace officer or a firefighter. The department may make premium                                    
12 payments from the fund to the medical insurance provider for the former employer of                                     
01       the deceased peace officer or firefighter.                                                                        
02            (b)  The department shall create the following two separate accounts in the                                  
03       fund:                                                                                                             
04                 (1)  a state employee survivor account that consists of                                                 
05                      (A)  appropriations to the account;                                                                
06                      (B)  donations to the account; and                                                                 
07                 (2)  a municipal employee survivor account that consists of                                             
08                      (A)  municipal contributions under AS 39.60.060;                                                   
09                      (B)  appropriations to the account; and                                                            
10                      (C)  donations to the account.                                                                     
11 (c)  The legislature may appropriate money to the fund. Money in the fund                                               
12       does not lapse.                                                                                                   
13 (d)  Money appropriated to the fund may be spent for the purposes of the fund                                           
14       without further appropriation.                                                                                    
15            (e)  Nothing in this section creates a dedicated fund.                                                       
16 Sec. 39.60.020. Powers and duties of the commissioner. (a) Annually, not                                                
17 later than December 1, the commissioner shall determine the amount of money                                             
18 sufficient to pay premiums under AS 39.60.030 and the associated administrative                                         
19       costs.                                                                                                            
20            (b)  The commissioner shall adopt regulations to implement this chapter.                                     
21 Sec. 39.60.030. Payment authorized. The commissioner may use money in                                                   
22 the fund to pay medical insurance premiums for a surviving dependent who is eligible                                    
23 under AS 39.60.040 and to pay the department's costs associated with administering                                      
24 the fund. The state employee survivor account and the municipal employee survivor                                       
25       account shall be used to pay premiums for the respective surviving dependents.                                    
26 Sec. 39.60.040. Eligibility of surviving dependents of peace officers and                                               
27 firefighters for medical insurance premiums. (a) A surviving dependent of a                                             
28 deceased peace officer or firefighter may apply to the commissioner for payment of                                      
29 medical insurance premiums for a surviving dependent under AS 39.60.030. Within                                         
30 the first 60 days after the death of the peace officer or firefighter, the surviving                                    
31 dependent is presumed to be eligible to receive the premium payment. Not later than                                     
01 30 days after receiving the application, the commissioner shall determine whether the                                   
02 surviving dependent is eligible under (b) of this section. If the commissioner                                          
03 determines the surviving dependent is eligible under (b) of this section, the                                           
04 commissioner shall thereafter determine annually, not later than 30 days before the                                     
05 anniversary of the employee's death, whether the surviving dependent has become                                         
06 ineligible under (c) or (d) of this section or AS 39.60.060(b). A surviving dependent                                   
07 who has been determined ineligible under (c)(2) or (d)(1) of this section may reapply                                   
08 under this subsection. The commissioner may require a surviving dependent to                                            
09       provide information relevant to a determination under this subsection.                                            
10 (b)  A person who is a surviving dependent of an employee who was a peace                                               
11       officer or firefighter is eligible for premium payments under (a) of this section if                              
12 (1)  on the date of the employee's death, the employee was employed                                                     
13 by the state or a municipality that has elected to participate under AS 39.60.050 in a                                  
14 permanent, full-time position for which the state or municipality paid or expected to                                   
15       pay the employee for 12 months each year;                                                                         
16 (2)  on the date of the employee's death, the surviving dependent was                                                   
17 receiving benefits under the employee's employer-sponsored medical insurance                                            
18       coverage;                                                                                                         
19 (3)  the proximate cause of the employee's death was a bodily injury                                                    
20 sustained or a hazard undergone while in the performance and within the scope of the                                    
21       employee's duties, as determined by the commissioner; and                                                         
22 (4)  the injury or hazard was not the proximate result of wilful                                                        
23       negligence by the employee.                                                                                       
24 (c)  Subject to (f) of this section, a surviving spouse becomes ineligible for                                          
25       premium payments under this section on the earlier of the date the surviving spouse                               
26                 (1)  has received the premium payments for 10 years;                                                    
27 (2)  becomes eligible to receive major medical insurance coverage by                                                    
28       other means; or                                                                                                   
29                 (3)  becomes eligible for Medicare.                                                                     
30 (d)  Except for a child who is totally and permanently disabled, a child who                                            
31 survives the employee becomes ineligible for premium payments under this section on                                     
01       the earlier of the date the surviving dependent child                                                             
02                 (1)  becomes eligible to receive major medical insurance coverage by                                    
03       other means; or                                                                                                   
04                 (2)  reaches 26 years of age.                                                                           
05 (e)  Subject to AS 39.60.060(b), the commissioner shall pay the premium for                                             
06 the medical insurance coverage, beginning the first day of the month following the                                      
07 application process and continuing until the first day of the month following the date                                  
08 the commissioner determines the surviving dependent is ineligible under (c) or (d) of                                   
09 this section. Payment of premiums shall be made to the applicable employer medical                                      
10 insurance provider. The medical insurance coverage provided under this section must                                     
11 be the level of coverage existing at the time of the employee's death or, if the level of                               
12 coverage provided by the employer for active, permanent, full-time employees is                                         
13       amended, the amended level of coverage.                                                                           
14 (f)  A surviving spouse who is a parent of a child eligible for premium                                                 
15       payments under this section is not subject to (c)(1) of this section.                                             
16 Sec. 39.60.050. Municipal election to participate in peace officer and                                                  
17 firefighter survivors' fund. (a) A municipality may elect to participate in the fund by                                 
18 entering into an agreement with the commissioner that is consistent with                                                
19 AS 39.60.070. If a municipality elects to participate in the fund, the commissioner                                     
20 shall determine the amount and frequency of the municipality's required contributions                                   
21 to the fund based on the anticipated cost of the municipality's participation, including                                
22       the department's cost of administering the agreement under this subsection.                                       
23 (b)  The commissioner shall administer agreements entered into under (a) of                                             
24       this section.                                                                                                     
25 (c)  A surviving dependent of a peace officer or firefighter who died while                                             
26 employed by a municipality is not eligible for payments from the fund unless the                                        
27 municipality elects to participate in the fund and is in compliance with an agreement                                   
28       entered into under (a) of this section.                                                                           
29 Sec. 39.60.060. Eligibility of municipal peace officers and firefighters. (a)                                           
30 Notwithstanding AS 39.60.050(c), and subject to AS 39.60.040(b), the commissioner                                       
31 may determine that a surviving dependent of a peace officer or firefighter who was                                      
01 employed by a municipality is eligible for premium payments under AS 39.60.040(a),                                      
02 if the municipality elects to participate in the fund and is in compliance with the terms                               
03       of an agreement entered into under AS 39.60.050(a).                                                               
04 (b)  If a municipality enters into an agreement under AS 39.60.050(a) and fails                                         
05 to meet a requirement of that agreement, including a requirement under AS 39.60.070,                                    
06 the commissioner may determine that a surviving dependent of a peace officer or                                         
07 firefighter employed by a municipality who would otherwise be eligible for payments                                     
08 from the fund under AS 39.60.040 is ineligible and deny payment from the fund until                                     
09       the commissioner determines all requirements of the agreement are satisfied.                                      
10 Sec. 39.60.070. Terms of agreement by municipality to participate in fund.                                              
11 An agreement under AS 39.60.050(a) for a municipality to participate in the fund must                                   
12       require that the municipality                                                                                     
13 (1)  contribute to the fund as determined by the commissioner under                                                     
14       AS 39.60.050(a);                                                                                                  
15                 (2)  is current with contributions required under this section; and                                     
16                 (3)  complies with applicable regulations adopted by the commissioner.                                  
17            Sec. 39.60.190. Definitions. In this chapter,                                                                
18 (1)  "child" means a biological child, adopted child, or stepchild of an                                                
19       employee;                                                                                                         
20 (2)  "commissioner" means the commissioner of public safety or the                                                      
21       commissioner's designee;                                                                                          
22                 (3)  "department" means the Department of Public Safety;                                                
23                 (4)  "dependent" means a surviving spouse or child of an employee;                                      
24 (5)  "firefighter" means an employee of the state or a municipality                                                     
25       whose primary duty is to perform fire suppression services;                                                       
26 (6)  "fund" means the peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund                                                     
27       established in AS 39.60.010;                                                                                      
28                 (7)  "peace officer" means                                                                              
29 (A)  an employee of the state or a municipal police department                                                          
30 with the authority to arrest and issue citations; detain a person taken into                                            
31 custody until that person can be arraigned before a judge or magistrate;                                                
01 conduct investigations of violations of and enforce criminal laws, regulations,                                         
02 and traffic laws; search with or without a warrant persons, dwellings, and other                                        
03 forms of property for evidence of a crime; and take other action consistent with                                        
04 exercise of these enumerated powers when necessary to maintain the public                                               
05            peace;                                                                                                       
06 (B)  an officer or employee of the Department of Transportation                                                         
07 and Public Facilities who is stationed at an international airport and has been                                         
08 designated to have the general police powers authorized under                                                           
09            AS 02.15.230(a);                                                                                             
10 (C)  a University of Alaska public safety officer with general                                                          
11            police powers authorized under AS 14.40.043;                                                                 
12 (D)  a person appointed by the commissioner of corrections or                                                           
13 employed by a correctional facility in this state to perform the duties of a                                            
14            probation officer under AS 33.05;                                                                            
15 (E)  a person appointed by the commissioner of corrections,                                                             
16 whose primary duty under AS 33.30 is to provide custody, care, security,                                                
17 control, and discipline of persons charged or convicted of offenses against the                                         
18            state or held under authority of state law;                                                                  
19 (F)  a person employed in a correctional facility in the state,                                                         
20 whose primary duty is to provide custody, care, security, control, and                                                  
21 discipline of persons charged or convicted of offenses or held under authority                                          
22            of law;                                                                                                      
23 (8)  "surviving spouse" means a person who was married to an                                                            
24       employee at the time of the employee's death.                                                                     
25    * Sec. 2. AS 43.23.062(a) is amended to read:                                                                        
26 (a)  Notwithstanding AS 43.23.069, the Department of Revenue shall prepare                                              
27 the electronic Alaska permanent fund dividend application to allow an applicant who                                     
28 files electronically to direct that money be subtracted from the dividend payment and                                   
29 contributed to the peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund or to one or more of                                 
30 the educational organizations, community foundations, or charitable organizations that                                  
31 appear on the contribution list contained in the application. A contribution to the                                   
01 peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund or to an organization may be $25, $50,                                  
02 $75, $100, or more, in increments of $50, up to the total amount of the permanent fund                                  
03 dividend that the applicant is entitled to receive. If the total amount of contributions                                
04 elected by an applicant exceeds the amount of the permanent fund dividend that the                                      
05 applicant is entitled to receive, contributions shall be deducted from the dividend in                                  
06 the order of priority elected by the applicant on the application until the entire amount                               
07 of the dividend that the applicant is entitled to receive is allocated for contribution.                                
08 The electronic dividend application form must include notice that seven percent of the                                  
09 money contributed will be used for administrative costs incurred in implementing this                                   
10       section, and money from the dividend fund will not be used for that purpose.                                      
11    * Sec. 3. AS 43.23.062(b) is amended to read:                                                                        
12 (b)  The department shall list each educational organization, community                                                 
13 foundation, or charitable organization eligible under (c) and (d) of this section, [AND]                              
14 each university campus that applies under (l) of this section, and the peace officer                                  
15 and firefighter survivors' fund on the contribution list. The department shall                                        
16 maintain an electronic database for the contribution list that is accessible to the public                              
17 and that permits searches by organization or fund name, geographic location, and                                      
18 type. The department shall provide a statement of the contributions made by an                                          
19 individual that is suitable for federal income tax purposes to each individual who                                      
20       elects to contribute under (a) of this section.                                                                   
21    * Sec. 4. AS 43.23.062(m) is amended to read:                                                                        
22 (m)  In addition to the application fee in (f) of this section, the department shall                                    
23 withhold a coordination fee from each organization, foundation, or university campus                                    
24 that receives contributions under this section in the immediately preceding dividend                                    
25 year. The coordination fee for an organization, foundation, or university campus that                                   
26 receives contributions under this section shall be seven percent of the amount of                                       
27 contributions reported by the department under (j) of this section for the organization,                                
28 foundation, or university campus for the immediately preceding dividend year. The                                       
29 coordination fee shall be separately accounted for under AS 37.05.142 and shall be                                      
30 accounted for separately from the application fee collected under (f) of this section.                                  
31 The annual estimated balance in the account maintained under AS 37.05.142 for                                           
01       coordination fees collected under this subsection may be appropriated for costs of                                
02       administering this section. The department may not withhold a coordination fee                                  
03       for contributions to the peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund.                                         
04    * Sec. 5. AS 43.23.062(n) is amended to read:                                                                        
05            (n)  In this section,                                                                                        
06 (1)  "community foundation" means a nonprofit, autonomous,                                                            
07 philanthropic institution that is organized and operated primarily as a permanent                                       
08 collection of endowed funds for the long-term benefit of a defined geographic area                                      
09 within one or more municipalities, that has a long-term goal of increasing its                                          
10 permanent unrestricted charitable endowment to benefit the area served, that primarily                                  
11 provides benefits by making grants and may also provide other forms of charitable                                       
12 services, that makes grants that are not limited to providing one type of benefit or to                                 
13       serving one population segment, and that makes grants to multiple grantees;                                     
14 (2)  "peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund" means the fund                                                   
15       established in AS 39.60.010(a).                                                                                 
16    * Sec. 6. AS 44.41.020 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                                
17 (g)  The Department of Public Safety shall manage and administer the peace                                              
18 officer and firefighter survivors' fund established in AS 39.60.010 in cooperation with                                 
19 the Department of Administration. The Department of Public Safety shall establish                                       
20 standardized procedures and forms for use in administering the peace officer and                                        
21       firefighter survivors' fund.                                                                                      
22    * Sec. 7. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                            
23 read:                                                                                                                   
24 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The commissioner of public safety may adopt                                                    
25 regulations necessary to implement secs. 1 and 6 of this Act. The regulations take effect under                         
26 AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the effective date of secs. 1 and 6 of                          
27 this Act.                                                                                                               
28    * Sec. 8. Section 7 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                                      
29    * Sec. 9. Except as provided in sec. 8 of this Act, this Act takes effect July 1, 2017.                              
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