as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 05/20/2022 01:22pm
A bill for an act
relating to public safety; clarifying eligibility for participation in the Hometown
Heroes Act; transferring money; amending Laws 2021, First Special Session
chapter 11, article 2, section 12.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Laws 2021, First Special Session chapter 11, article 2, section 12, is amended
(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
(b) "Firefighter" means a volunteer, paid on-call, part-time, or career firefighter serving
a general population within the boundaries of the state.
(c) "Minnesota Firefighter Initiative" means a collaborative that is established by major
fire service organizations in Minnesota, is a nonprofit organization, and is tax exempt under
section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The commissioner of public safety shall award a grant
to the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative to administer a hometown heroes assistance program
for Minnesota firefighters. The Minnesota Firefighter Initiative shall use the grant funds:
(1) to deleted text beginprovide a onetimedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end critical illness new text beginnew text endmonetary
support deleted text beginpaymentdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end to each firefighter who is diagnosed with deleted text begincancer or heart diseasedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end and who applies for the payment. Monetary
support shall be provided according to the requirements in subdivision 3;
(2) to develop a psychotherapy program customized to address emotional trauma
experienced by firefighters and to offer all firefighters in the state up to five psychotherapy
sessions per year under the customized program, provided by mental health professionals;
(3) to deleted text beginofferdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end additional psychotherapy sessions to firefighters who need them;
(4) to develop, annually update, and annually provide to all firefighters in the state at
least two hours of training on new text beginnew text endcancerdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text beginnew text end heart disease, and
emotional trauma as causes of illness and death for firefighters; steps and best practices for
firefighters to limit the occupational risks of cancer, heart disease, and emotional trauma;
provide evidence-based suicide prevention strategies; and ways for firefighters to address
occupation-related emotional trauma and promote emotional wellness. The training shall
be presented by firefighters who attend an additional course to prepare them to serve as
(5) for administrative and overhead costs of the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative associated
with conducting the activities in clauses (1) to (4).
(a) The Minnesota Firefighter
Initiative shall establish and administer a critical illness monetary support program which
shall provide deleted text begina onetimedeleted text end support deleted text beginpaymentdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end of up to $20,000 to each new text beginnew text end firefighter deleted text begindiagnosed with cancer or heart disease. A firefighter may apply for monetary
support from the program, in a form specified by the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative, if the
firefighter has a current diagnosis of cancer or heart disease or was diagnosed with cancer
or heart disease in the year preceding the firefighter's application.deleted text endnew text beginnew text end A firefighter's application for monetary support must include a certification
from the firefighter's health care provider of the firefighter's diagnosis deleted text beginwith cancer or heart
diseasedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end. The Minnesota Firefighter Initiative shall establish
criteria to guide disbursement of monetary support payments under this program, and shall
scale the amount of monetary support provided to each firefighter according to the severity
of the firefighter's diagnosis.
(b) The commissioner of public safety may access the accounts of the critical illness
monetary support program deleted text beginand maydeleted text endnew text beginnew text end conduct periodic audits of the program to ensure that
payments are being made in compliance with this section and disbursement criteria
established by the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative.
The commissioner may accept contributions
from nonstate sources to supplement state appropriations for the hometown heroes assistance
program. Contributions received under this subdivision are appropriated to the commissioner
for the grant to the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative for purposes of this section.
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