SB 48: "An Act creating a fund in the Department of Public Safety; providing for payment of certain medical insurance premiums for surviving dependents of certain police officers or firefighters who die in the line of duty; and providing for an effective date."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 48 01 "An Act creating a fund in the Department of Public Safety; providing for payment of 02 certain medical insurance premiums for surviving dependents of certain police officers 03 or firefighters who die in the line of duty; and providing for an effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. AS 39 is amended by adding a new chapter to read: 06 Chapter 60. Police Officer and Firefighter Survivors' Fund. 07 Sec. 39.60.010. Police officer and firefighter survivors' fund established. 08 (a) The police officer and firefighter survivors' fund is established in the general fund 09 for the purpose of paying medical insurance premiums for an eligible surviving spouse 10 or dependent child of a police officer or a firefighter. The department may make 11 premium payments from the fund to the medical insurance provider for the former 12 employer of the deceased police officer or firefighter. 13 (b) The department shall create the following two separate accounts in the 14 fund:
01 (1) a state employee survivor account that consists of 02 (A) appropriations to the account; 03 (B) donations to the account; and 04 (2) a municipal employee survivor account that consists of 05 (A) municipal contributions under AS 39.60.060; 06 (B) appropriations to the account; and 07 (C) donations to the account. 08 (c) The legislature may appropriate money to the fund. Money in the fund 09 does not lapse. 10 (d) Money appropriated to the fund may be spent for purposes of the fund 11 without further appropriation. 12 (e) Nothing in this section creates a dedicated fund. 13 Sec. 39.60.020. Powers and duties of the commissioner. (a) Annually, not 14 later than June 30, the commissioner shall determine the amount of money sufficient 15 to pay premiums under AS 39.60.030 and the associated administrative costs. 16 (b) The commissioner shall adopt regulations to implement this chapter. 17 Sec. 39.60.030. Payment authorized. The commissioner may use money in 18 the fund to pay medical insurance premiums for a surviving dependent who is eligible 19 under AS 39.60.040 and to pay the department's costs associated with administering 20 the fund. The state employee survivor account and the municipal employee survivor 21 account shall be used to pay premiums for the respective surviving dependents. 22 Sec. 39.60.040. Eligibility of surviving dependents of police officers and 23 firefighters for medical insurance premiums. (a) A surviving dependent of a 24 deceased police officer or firefighter may apply to the commissioner for payment of 25 medical insurance premiums for a surviving dependent under AS 39.60.030. Not later 26 than 30 days after receiving the application, the commissioner shall determine whether 27 the surviving dependent is eligible under (b) of this section. 28 (b) A person who is a surviving dependent of an employee who was a police 29 officer or firefighter is eligible for premium payments under (a) of this section if 30 (1) at the time of death, the employee was a year-round, permanent 31 full-time employee of the state or a municipality that has elected to participate under
01 AS 39.60.050; 02 (2) at the time of death, the surviving dependent was receiving 03 employer-sponsored medical insurance benefits; 04 (3) the proximate cause of the employee's death is a bodily injury 05 sustained or a hazard undergone while in the performance and within the scope of the 06 employee's duties, as determined by the commissioner; and 07 (4) the injury or hazard is not the proximate result of wilful negligence 08 by the employee. 09 (c) A surviving spouse becomes ineligible for premium payments under this 10 section on the earlier of the date the surviving spouse 11 (1) becomes eligible to receive major medical insurance coverage by 12 other means; or 13 (2) reaches 65 years of age. 14 (d) Except for a child who is totally and permanently disabled, a child who 15 survives the employee becomes ineligible for premium payments under this section on 16 the earlier of the date the surviving dependent child 17 (1) becomes eligible to receive a major medical insurance coverage 18 benefit by other means; or 19 (2) reaches 26 years of age. 20 (e) If a person is determined eligible for premiums under this section, the 21 commissioner shall pay the premium for the level of medical insurance coverage 22 existing at the time of death beginning the first month following the date the surviving 23 dependent applied for fund payments and ending the first month following the date the 24 surviving dependent becomes ineligible under (c) or (d) of this section. Payment of 25 premiums shall be made to the applicable employer medical insurance provider. 26 Sec. 39.60.050. Municipal election to participate in police officer and 27 firefighter survivors' fund. (a) A municipality may elect to participate in the fund by 28 entering into an agreement with the commissioner that is consistent with 29 AS 39.60.070. If a municipality elects to participate in the fund, the commissioner 30 shall determine the amount and frequency of the municipality's required contributions 31 to the fund based on the anticipated cost of the municipality's participation, including
01 the department's cost of administering the agreement under this subsection. 02 (b) The commissioner shall administer agreements entered into under (a) of 03 this section. 04 (c) A surviving dependent of a police officer or firefighter who died while 05 employed by a municipality is not eligible for payments from the fund unless the 06 municipality elects to participate in the fund and is in compliance with an agreement 07 entered into under (a) of this section. 08 Sec. 39.60.060. Eligibility of municipal police officers and firefighters. (a) 09 Notwithstanding AS 39.60.050(c), the commissioner may determine that a surviving 10 dependent of a police officer or firefighter who was employed by a municipality is 11 eligible for payment under the fund if, 12 (1) immediately after the time of death, the municipality elected to 13 participate in the fund and is in compliance with the terms of an agreement entered 14 into under AS 39.60.050(a); and 15 (2) at the time of death, the police officer or firefighter was eligible for 16 and receiving employer-sponsored medical insurance. 17 (b) If a municipality enters into an agreement under AS 39.60.050(a) and fails 18 to meet a requirement of that agreement, including a requirement under AS 39.60.070, 19 the commissioner may determine that a surviving dependent of a police officer or 20 firefighter employed by a municipality who would otherwise be eligible for payments 21 from the fund under AS 39.60.040 is ineligible and deny payment from the fund until 22 the commissioner determines all requirements of the agreement are satisfied. 23 Sec. 39.60.070. Terms of agreement by municipality to participate in fund. 24 An agreement under AS 39.60.050(a) for a municipality to participate in the fund must 25 require that the municipality 26 (1) contribute to the fund as determined by the commissioner under 27 AS 39.60.050(a); 28 (2) is current with contributions required under this section; and 29 (3) complies with applicable regulations adopted by the commissioner. 30 Sec. 39.60.190. Definitions. In this chapter, 31 (1) "child" means a biological child, adopted child, or stepchild of an
01 employee; 02 (2) "commissioner" means the commissioner of public safety or the 03 commissioner's designee; 04 (3) "department" means the Department of Public Safety; 05 (4) "dependent" means a surviving spouse or child of an employee; 06 (5) "firefighter" means an employee of the state or a municipality 07 employed to perform fire response services; 08 (6) "fund" means the police officer and firefighter survivors' fund 09 established in AS 39.60.010; 10 (7) "police officer" has the meaning given in AS 18.65.290; 11 (8) "surviving spouse" means the spouse of an employee who was 12 married to an employee at the time of the employee's death. 13 * Sec. 2. AS 44.41.020 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 14 (g) The Department of Public Safety shall manage and administer the police 15 officer and firefighter survivors' fund established in AS 39.60.010 in cooperation with 16 the Department of Administration. The Department of Public Safety shall establish 17 standardized procedures and forms for use in administering the police officer and 18 firefighter survivors' fund. 19 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 20 read: 21 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The commissioner of public safety may adopt 22 regulations necessary to implement secs. 1 and 2 of this Act. The regulations take effect under 23 AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the effective date of secs. 1 and 2 of 24 this Act. 25 * Sec. 4. Section 3 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c). 26 * Sec. 5. Except as provided in sec. 4 of this Act, this Act takes effect July 1, 2017.