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SF 1204

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/26/2021 01:48pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to public safety; creating an open appropriation from the general fund to
the public safety officer's benefit account; providing for reimbursement for
continued health insurance coverage; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections
299A.42; 299A.465, subdivisions 1, 4, by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 299A.42, is amended to read:


299A.42 PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER'S BENEFIT ACCOUNT.

The public safety officer's benefit account is created in the state treasury. Money in the
account consists of money transferred and appropriated to that account. Money in the account
that is not expended in the fiscal year in which it is transferred or appropriated does not
revert to the general fund until claims for reimbursement under section 299A.465 that are
submitted in that fiscal year are either paid or denied.new text begin A sum sufficient to discharge the
duties imposed by sections 299A.41 to 299A.47 is annually appropriated from the general
fund to the account.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective July 1, 2021.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 299A.465, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Officer or firefighter disabled in line of duty.

(a) This subdivision
applies to any peace officer or firefighter:

(1) who the Public Employees Retirement Association or the Minnesota State Retirement
System determines is eligible to receive a duty disability benefit pursuant to section 353.656
or 352B.10, subdivision 1, respectively; or

(2) who (i) does not qualify to receive disability benefits by operation of the eligibility
requirements set forth in section 353.656, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), (ii) retires pursuant
to section 353.651, subdivision 4, or (iii) is a member of a local police or salaried firefighters
relief association and qualifies for a duty disability benefit under the terms of plans of the
relief associations, and the peace officer or firefighter described in item (i), (ii), or (iii) has
discontinued public service as a peace officer or firefighter as a result of a disabling injury
and has been determined, by the Public Employees Retirement Association, to have otherwise
met the duty disability criteria set forth in section 353.01, subdivision 41.

(b) A determination made on behalf of a peace officer or firefighter described in paragraph
(a), clause (2), must be at the request of the peace officer or firefighter made for the purposes
of this section. Determinations made in accordance with paragraph (a) are binding on the
peace officer or firefighter, employer, and state. The determination must be made by the
executive director of the Public Employees Retirement Association or by the executive
director of the Minnesota State Retirement System, whichever applies, and is not subject
to section 356.96, subdivision 2. Upon making a determination, the executive director shall
provide written notice to the peace officer or firefighter and the employer. This notice must
include:

(1) a written statement of the reasons for the determination;

(2) a notice that the person may petition for a review of the determination by requesting
that a contested case be initiated before the Office of Administrative Hearings, the cost of
which must be borne by the peace officer or firefighter and the employer; and

(3) a statement that any person who does not petition for a review within 60 days is
precluded from contesting issues determined by the executive director in any other
administrative review or court procedure.

If, prior to the contested case hearing, additional information is provided to support the
claim for duty disability as defined in section 352B.011, subdivision 7, or 353.01, subdivision
41
, whichever applies, the executive director may reverse the determination without the
requested hearing. If a hearing is held before the Office of Administrative Hearings, the
determination rendered by the judge conducting the fact-finding hearing is a final decision
and order under section 14.62, subdivision 2a, and is binding on the applicable executive
director, the peace officer or firefighter, employer, and state. Review of a final determination
made by the Office of Administrative Hearings under this section may only be obtained by
writ of certiorari to the Minnesota Court of Appeals under sections 14.63 to 14.68. Only
the peace officer or firefighter, employer, and state have standing to participate in a judicial
review of the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(c) The officer's or firefighter's employer shall continue to provide health coverage for:

(1) the officer or firefighter; and

(2) the officer's or firefighter's dependents if the officer or firefighter was receiving
dependent coverage at the time of the injury under the employer's group health plan.

(d) The employer is responsible for the continued payment of the employer's contribution
for coverage of the officer or firefighter and, if applicable, the officer's or firefighter's
dependents. Coverage must continue for the officer or firefighter and, if applicable, the
officer's or firefighter's dependents until the officer or firefighter reaches or, if deceased,
would have reached the age of 65. However, coverage for dependents does not have to be
continued after the person is no longer a dependent.

new text begin (e) The employer shall provide the officer or firefighter written notice of the provisions
of this chapter and the effect of declining any health insurance coverage that the employer
makes available to officers or firefighters, the officer's or firefighter's dependents, or both.
This written notice shall include a copy of this chapter and shall be provided on an annual
basis at the time of the open enrollment period for the employer's health insurance benefits.
In the event the employer fails to provide an officer or firefighter with the required written
notice, the employer shall be responsible for providing health insurance coverage consistent
with this chapter, despite the officer's or firefighter's waiver of coverage, to the officer or
firefighter and the officer's or firefighter's dependents if the disability or death in the line
of duty arises in the year the required notice was not provided to the officer or firefighter.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 299A.465, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Public employer reimbursement.

A public employer subject to this section
may annually apply by August 1 for the preceding fiscal year to the commissioner of public
safety for reimbursement deleted text beginto help defray a portion of its costs of complying with this sectiondeleted text end.
The commissioner shall provide deleted text beginan equal pro rata sharedeleted text endnew text begin reimbursementnew text end to the public employer
out of the public safety officer's benefit account deleted text beginbased on the availability of fundsdeleted text end for each
eligible officer, firefighter, and qualifying dependents. Individual shares must not exceed
the actual costs of providing coverage under this section by a public employer.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 299A.465, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Waiver or release prohibited. new text end

new text begin Nothing in this chapter shall allow any agreement
to diminish any entitlement to the benefits under this chapter. Any agreement that attempts
to release or diminish entitlement to benefits under this chapter is null and void.
new text end