Enrolled HB 23: Creating a fund in the Department of Public Safety; providing for payment of certain medical insurance premiums for surviving dependents of certain peace officers or firefighters who die in the line of duty; relating to contributions from permanent fund dividends to the peace officer and firefighter survivors' fund; and providing for an effective date.
00Enrolled 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.