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SB 171: "An Act relating to certain suits and claims by members of the military services or regarding acts or omissions of the organized militia; relating to liability arising out of certain search and rescue, civil defense, homeland security, and fire management and firefighting activities; and providing for an effective date."

00                             SENATE BILL NO. 171                                                                         
01 "An Act relating to certain suits and claims by members of the military services or                                     
02 regarding acts or omissions of the organized militia; relating to liability arising out of                              
03 certain search and rescue, civil defense, homeland security, and fire management and                                    
04 firefighting activities; and providing for an effective date."                                                          
05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
06    * Section 1.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended to read:                                        
07       PURPOSE.  The purpose of secs. 3 - 6 of this Act is to                                                            
08            (1)  provide the State of Alaska and state military and other personnel, through                             
09 the immunity provided in this Act, with the same protection from civil actions for damages                              
10 that the federal government and federal military personnel are provided under federal caselaw                           
11 and statute;                                                                                                            
12            (2)  ensure that military service decisions are based on the judgment and needs                              
13 of the militia rather than on concerns for possible tort exposure; and                                                  
14            (3)  recognize that injured military service members or their families are                                   
01 entitled to various federal military and veteran's benefits for injuries or death occurring in the                      
02 course of the member's military service for the Alaska National Guard while not on state                                
03 active duty;                                                                                                            
04            (4)  recognize that the federal government and not the State of Alaska is                                    
05 responsible for providing benefits to injured military service members or their families for                            
06 injuries or death occurring in the course of the member's military service for the Alaska                               
07 National Guard while not on state active duty;                                                                          
08            (5)  recognize that the federal government and not the State of Alaska is                                    
09 responsible for property damage, injuries, or death, resulting from the acts or omissions of                            
10 members of the Alaska National Guard who are under the command of the federal                                           
11 government.                                                                                                             
12    * Sec. 2.  AS 18.60 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
13            Sec. 18.60.125.  Civil liability.  A person may not bring a civil action for                               
14       damages against the state, a political subdivision of the state, or the officers, agents, or                      
15       employees of either, for a death, personal injury, or property damage that results from                           
16       an act or omission in performing or failing to perform activities or duties authorized                            
17       under AS 18.60.120 - 18.60.175.                                                                                   
18    * Sec. 3.  AS 26.05.140 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
19            (b)  The State of Alaska has not waived its sovereign immunity and is not                                    
20       liable for the acts or omissions of members of the organized militia, unless those                                
21       members were ordered into active state service by the governor under AS 26.05.070                                 
22       and the members were acting in the line of duty of those orders.                                                  
23    * Sec. 4.  AS 26.05 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
24            Sec. 26.05.145.  Suits by members of the military services.  (a)  A civil                                
25       action for damages may not be brought by or on behalf of a member of the military                                 
26       services against the State of Alaska or against any employee of the State of Alaska or                            
27       any member or former member of the Alaska militia for wrongful death, personal                                    
28       injury, or other tort claim or injury arising out of activities that were incident to the                         
29       member's military service.                                                                                        
30            (b)  In this section, "military service" means service in the United States                                  
31       military, the militia described in AS 26.05.010(b), or the national guard of another                              
01       state.                                                                                                            
02    * Sec. 5.  AS 26.05.260(d) is amended to read:                                                                     
03            (d)  A member of the organized militia who, while performing duties under                                    
04       AS 26.05.070, including transit to and from the member's home of record, suffers an                               
05       injury or disability in the line of duty is entitled to all compensation and benefits                             
06       available under AS 23.30 (Alaska Workers' Compensation Act).  For a member of the                                 
07       Alaska State Defense Force, compensation and benefits under this subsection are                                   
08       provided as though the member were a state employee.  A member of the organized                               
09       militia who has not been ordered into active state service by the governor under                              
10       AS 26.05.070 is not entitled to compensation and benefits under AS 23.30 (Alaska                              
11       Workers' Compensation Act).                                                                                   
12    * Sec. 6.  AS 26.05.260(e) is amended to read:                                                                     
13            (e)  If a member of the organized militia dies as a result of an injury or                                   
14       disability suffered in the line of duty while performing duties under AS 26.05.070,                               
15       including transit to and from the member's home of record, death benefits shall be paid                           
16       to the persons in the amounts specified in AS 23.30.215.  For a member of the Alaska                              
17       State Defense Force, the death benefits under this subsection are provided as though                              
18       the member were a state employee.  A person is not entitled to death benefits as                              
19       specified in AS 23.30.215 for a member of the organized militia who dies as a                                 
20       result of injury or disability suffered in the line of duty but who had not been                              
21       ordered into active state service by the governor under AS 26.05.070.                                         
22    * Sec. 7.  AS 26.20.140 is amended to read:                                                                        
23            Sec. 26.20.140.  Immunity of government, [AND] employees, and                                        
24       authorized volunteers or other persons.  (a)  Neither the state nor any district of the                       
25       state, nor the employees, agents, or representatives of the state or district, is liable for              
26       personal injury or property damage sustained by any person appointed or acting as a                               
27       [VOLUNTEER] civilian defense or homeland security worker.  This provision does                                
28       not affect the right of a person to receive benefits or compensation to which the person                          
29       might otherwise be entitled under the workers' compensation law or a pension law or                               
30       an Act of Congress.                                                                                               
31            (b)  Neither the state nor a district [PERSONNEL] of the state, nor [, EXCEPT                            
01       IN CASES OF WILFUL MISCONDUCT, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, OR BAD                                                           
02       FAITH,] the employees, agents, or representatives of the state or district, nor a                                 
03       volunteer or auxiliary civilian defense or homeland security worker or member of an                           
04       agency engaged in civilian defense or homeland security activity, complying with or                           
05       reasonably attempting to comply with this chapter, or an order issued or regulation                           
06       adopted under this chapter, or under an ordinance relating to blackout or other                                   
07       precautionary measures enacted by a district director of the state, is liable for the death                       
08       of or injury to persons, or for damage to property, as a result of the activity, except                       
09       when malice or reckless indifference to the interests, rights, or safety of others is                         
10       shown by clear and convincing evidence.                                                                       
11    * Sec. 8.  AS 26.20.140 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
12            (c)  In this section, "civilian defense or homeland security worker" means a                                 
13       worker engaged in a civil defense or homeland security activity in an official capacity                           
14       or at the direction of the state, including                                                                       
15                 (1)  an officer or employee of the state, a municipality or other political                             
16       subdivision of the state, or a governmental instrumentality of the state;                                         
17                 (2)  a member of a board, commission, or task force created by statute                                  
18       or by legislative, judicial, or administrative action by the state, a municipality or other                       
19       political subdivision of the state, or a governmental instrumentality of the state;                               
20                 (3)  a contractor to the state, a municipality or other political                                       
21       subdivision of the state, or a governmental instrumentality of the state, or an officer or                        
22       employee of such a contractor;                                                                                    
23                 (4)  an officer or employee of a federal agency, a member of the                                        
24       military or naval forces of the United States, a member of the National Guard while                               
25       engaged in training or duty, or a person acting on behalf of a federal agency in an                               
26       official capacity, temporarily or permanently in the service of the United States,                                
27       whether with or without compensation;                                                                             
28                 (5)  an officer or employee of another state; and                                                       
29                 (6)  a volunteer authorized by the state, a municipality or other political                             
30       subdivision of the state, or a federal agency to engage in a civil defense or homeland                            
31       security activity.                                                                                                
01    * Sec. 9.  AS 26.20.200(1) is amended to read:                                                                     
02                 (1)  "civil defense" means the protection and defense of the civilian                                   
03       population by the organized efforts of the residents of the state other than those in the                         
04       military service, and includes without limitation, fire fighting, policing, rescue, air raid                      
05       warning, security, communications, medical service, vaccination and other actions                         
06       to protect public health, transportation, evacuation of persons, welfare aid, guard                           
07       duty, anti-espionage and anti-sabotage service, construction of temporary housing and                             
08       bomb proof shelters, [AND] any other service necessary for the protection of and aid                              
09       to the public not normally furnished by the military services, and training,                                  
10       preparation, travel, and other activities necessary for the provision of the services                         
11       described in this paragraph;                                                                                
12    * Sec. 10.  AS 26.20.200 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:                                             
13                 (4)  "homeland security" means the detection, prevention, preemption,                                   
14       or deterrence of, protection from, and response to, attacks targeted at state territory,                          
15       population, or infrastructure of this state.                                                                      
16    * Sec. 11.  AS 26.23.210 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
17            (c)  The provisions of AS 26.20.140, providing for immunity of government,                                   
18       employees, and other authorized persons in certain circumstances, apply when the                                  
19       entities or persons covered by AS 26.20.140 perform duties under AS 26.23.010 -                                   
20       26.23.220, except as otherwise provided in AS 26.23.136 for entities or other persons                             
21       providing assistance to the state under a compact in a form substantially as contained                            
22       in AS 26.23.126.                                                                                                  
23    * Sec. 12.  AS 41.15 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
24            Sec.  41.15.045.  Civil liability.  Notwithstanding other provisions of law, a                             
25       person may not bring a civil action for damages for death, personal injury, or property                           
26       damage that results from an act or omission in performing or failing to perform                                   
27       activities or duties arising out of prevention, monitoring, control, or suppression of                            
28       fires authorized to be performed under AS 41.15.010 - 41.15.170 against                                           
29                 (1)  the state or its officers, agents, and employees;                                                  
30                 (2)  a political subdivision of the state or its officers, agents, and                                  
31       employees;                                                                                                        
01                 (3)  any organization authorized to prevent, control, or suppress fires;                                
02       or                                                                                                                
03                 (4)  others assisting in the control or suppression of fires at the request                             
04       of an officer or employee of the United States or the state.                                                      
05    * Sec. 13.  AS 41.17 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
06            Sec.  41.17.081.  Civil liability.  Notwithstanding other provisions of law, a                             
07       person may not bring a civil action for damages for death, personal injury, or property                           
08       damage that results from an act or omission in performing or failing to perform                                   
09       activities or duties arising out of prevention, monitoring, control, or suppression of                            
10       fires authorized to be performed under regulations adopted under AS 41.17.080(a)(8)                               
11       against                                                                                                           
12                 (1)  the state or its officers, agents, and employees;                                                  
13                 (2)  a political subdivision of the state or its officers, agents, and                                  
14       employees;                                                                                                        
15                 (3)  any organization authorized to prevent, control, or suppress fires;                                
16       or                                                                                                                
17                 (4)  others assisting in the control or suppression of fires at the request                             
18       of an officer or employee of the United States or the state.                                                      
19    * Sec. 14.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
20 read:                                                                                                                   
21       APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to all claims and causes of action accruing on or                                
22 after the effective date of this Act.                                                                                   
23    * Sec. 15.  This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).