HB1494 (2020) Detail

(New Title) relative to death benefits for public works employees killed in the line of duty, and relative to workers' compensation offsets for certain retirement system benefits.


HB 1494-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

12Mar2020... 0574h

2020 SESSION

20-2670

10/04

 

HOUSE BILL 1494-FN

 

AN ACT relative to death benefits for public works employees killed in the line of duty, and relative to workers' compensation offsets for certain retirement system benefits.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Schultz, Merr. 18; Rep. Schuett, Merr. 20

 

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a state death benefit for a municipal or state public works employee killed in the line of duty.  The bill also eliminates the offset for workers' compensation benefits applicable to group I accidental death benefit annuities in state retirement system.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

12Mar2020... 0574h 20-2670

10/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to death benefits for public works employees killed in the line of duty, and relative to workers' compensation offsets for certain retirement system benefits.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Death Benefit; Employees Killed in the Line of Duty; Public Works Employee Added.  Amend the section heading and paragraphs I through the introductory paragraph of III of RSA 21-I:29-a to read as follows:

21-I:29-a  Death Benefit for [Police Officer or Firefighter] Employees Killed in Line of Duty.

I.  In this section:

(a)  "Adult child" means a child, whether by blood or adoption, of the police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee age 18 or older at the time of death of such police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee and who does not meet the definition of a dependent child.

(b)  "Dependent child" means a child, whether by blood or adoption, of the police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee who:

(1)  Is under the age of 25 and was dependent on the earnings of the police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee at the time of death.  For the purposes of this subparagraph, a child is not considered dependent if the child provides more than half of his or her own support, is married, or is legally adopted by another; or

(2)  Is any age and is physically or mentally incapacitated and was dependent on the earnings of the police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee at the time of death.

(c)  "Family" means the surviving spouse of the police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee who was wholly or partially dependent, in fact, upon the earnings of the police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, rescue squad member, or public works employee or, if there is no surviving spouse, the surviving dependent child or dependent children, of such police officer [or], firefighter, emergency medical technician, rescue squad member, or public works employee or, if there is no surviving dependent child, a surviving person qualifying as a common-law spouse pursuant to RSA 457:39, or if there is no surviving common-law spouse, the surviving adult child or adult children, or if there is no surviving adult child or adult children, the surviving parent or parents of such police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee.

(d)  "Emergency medical technician" means all levels of emergency medical technician, including emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, advanced emergency medical technicians, and paramedics, whether auxiliary, intermittent, special, part-time, volunteer, call, or reserve, who is employed by a city, town, village district, or precinct within the state of New Hampshire, or any emergency medical technician who is a volunteer for or employed by a nonprofit corporation in New Hampshire, or any emergency medical technician employed by a New Hampshire licensed private ambulance service while in the performance of emergency medical services pursuant to RSA 153-A:2, VI either under contract or agreement with a city, town, village, or precinct.

(e)  "Firefighter" means any firefighter, including auxiliary, intermittent, special, part-time, volunteer, call, or reserve firefighters who are employed by a city, town, village district, or precinct within the state of New Hampshire, any firefighter employed by the state of New Hampshire, or any firefighter who is a volunteer for or employed by a non-profit corporation which is the primary provider of fire protection for all or part of a New Hampshire municipality.

(f)  "Killed in the line of duty" means a death of a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee while in the performance of his or her duties as a result of incident, accident, or violence causing death or injuries which are the direct or proximate cause of death.  "Incident" shall include any death that is determined to be occupationally related by the worker's compensation insurance carrier, a self-insured worker's compensation plan, or by the labor commissioner for workers' compensation purposes pursuant to RSA 281-A.

(g)  "Police officer" means any law enforcement officer with the power of arrest, including auxiliary, intermittent, special, part-time, or reserve police officers, or sheriffs and their deputies who are employed by a city, town, village district, county, or precinct within the state of New Hampshire, police officers employed by the university system of New Hampshire, court security officers and bailiffs, and any state law enforcement officer employed by the state of New Hampshire who has power of arrest as determined by state law.

(h) "Public works employee" means any municipal or state public works or highway employee who has the responsibility to work in hazardous locations, or as a first responder, or in conjunction with emergency first responders in construction zones, highway traffic areas, and other locations where the public works or highway employee is exposed to risk of injury or fatality from construction hazards, highway traffic volume and speed, nighttime responses, environmental issues, weather, or other hazardous conditions.

(i)  "Rescue squad member" means any member of a rescue squad formed for the purposes of responding to a state of emergency as declared by the governor or as part of a search and rescue effort under the supervision of the fish and game department to recover a lost person.

II.  In addition to any other benefits provided under this chapter, the state treasurer shall pay a $100,000 death benefit to the family of a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee killed in the line of duty.  Payment to a dependent child under the age of 18 shall be made to the child's trustee for the benefit of the child.  The governor, with the consent of the executive council, is authorized to draw a warrant for said sum out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

III.  The commissioner of safety, upon notice from the family or chief of department of any firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee who may be entitled to a line-of-duty death benefit or upon the commissioner's own initiative, shall obtain the available records related to the circumstances, cause, and manner of such death and the decedent's status as a firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee may cause further inquiry to be made, and shall make a determination of whether the death qualifies as a line-of-duty death and who is entitled to the death benefit.  The determination shall be made within 180 days of the determination of the cause and manner of death by the office of the chief medical examiner, or within 180 days from the date the commissioner received notice from the family or chief of department of the firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee whichever is later.  For deaths that are not reviewed by the office of the chief medical examiner, the determination shall be made within 180 days of a determination that the decedent qualifies for a workers' compensation death benefit by a worker's compensation carrier, self-insured worker's compensation plan, or the labor commissioner pursuant to RSA 281-A, or within 180 days from the date the commissioner received notice from the family or chief of department of the firefighter, police officer, emergency medical technician, [or] rescue squad member, or public works employee whichever is later.

2  Retirement System; Accidental Death Benefits; Workers' Compensation Offset.  Amend RSA 100-A:8, III and IV to read as follows:

III.  Workers' Compensation.  [Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section and except for payments made under RSA 281-A:37, any amounts which may be paid or payable under the provisions of any workers' compensation or similar law on account of the death of any member shall, in such manner as the board of trustees shall determine, be offset against and payable in lieu of any state annuity payable under the provisions of this section on account of the same death.  Any amounts offset above shall not include compensation received to pay hospital or medical bills under any private annuity or disability insurance plan.

IV.  The offset provisions of paragraph III shall not apply in the case of a group II member who dies as the natural and proximate result of injuries received while in the performance of his duty.  In this case] Any amounts paid or payable under the provisions of any workers' compensation or similar law on account of the death of the member shall not be offset against or payable in lieu of any state annuity payable under the provisions of this section on account of the same death.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.

 

LBAO

20-2670

Amended 3/23/20

 

HB 1494-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2020-0574h)

 

AN ACT relative to death benefits for public works employees killed in the line of duty, and relative to workers' compensation offsets for certain retirement system benefits.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill expands the eligibility of a $100,000 line-of-duty death benefit for municipal or state public works heavy equipment operators killed in the line of duty.  To the extent an eligible individual is determined to have been killed in the line of duty, general fund appropriations and expenditures would increase.  

 

The bill also eliminates any offset for workers' compensation benefits applicable to the New Hampshire Retirement System accidental death benefits, which currently applies only to Group I employees.  The New Hampshire Retirement System indicates there is no fiscal impact on employer rates as a result of this bill.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

New Hampshire Retirement System

 

Links

HB1494 at GenCourtMobile
HB1494 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 21, 2020 House Hearing
March 3, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 11, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1494 Revision: 8404 Date: March 31, 2020, 3:27 p.m.
HB1494 Revision: 7121 Date: Dec. 3, 2019, 10:29 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Executive Departments and Administration HJ 1 P. 24
Jan. 21, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/21/2020 10:30 am LOB 306
Feb. 5, 2020 Subcommittee Work Session: 02/05/2020 03:00 pm LOB 306
Feb. 12, 2020 Subcommittee Work Session: 02/12/2020 12:45 pm LOB 306
March 3, 2020 Executive Session: 03/03/2020 01:00 pm LOB 306
March 11, 2020 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0574h (NT) for 03/11/2020 (Vote 15-4; RC) HC 10 P. 55
Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0574h (Vote 15-4; RC)
March 12, 2020 Amendment # 2020-0574h (NT): AA VV 03/12/2020
March 12, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-0574h (NT): MA VV 03/12/2020