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HB24-1219

First Responder Employer Health Benefit Trusts

Concerning state-funded programs for first responders through multiple employer health benefit trusts, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subject:
Fiscal Policy & Taxes
Bill Summary

The act makes 2 principal changes to current firefighter benefit programs. First, the act expands state funding for the firefighter heart and circulatory malfunction benefits program to include part-time and volunteer firefighters. Second, the act provides state funding for the firefighter cancer benefits program for eligible firefighters.

The act requires an employer of a covered individual to provide access to specified heart and circulatory malfunction benefits to part-time and volunteer firefighters in addition to full-time firefighters and the employer is reimbursed by the state for providing the benefits. The requirement that an employer provide these benefits becomes voluntary if funding is insufficient.

The act requires an employer of an eligible firefighter to participate in a cancer trust for firefighter benefits, but specifies that if funding to reimburse the employer is insufficient, participation in the trust becomes optional.

The act also requires an employer to participate in a funded trust to provide cardiovascular screenings, at a minimum, and other health screenings and prevention, as practicable, to peace officers. The trust is reimbursed by the state for providing the benefits, and if funding to reimburse the trust is insufficient, then the requirement for employers to provide the specified program is optional.

The general assembly is required to appropriate money from the general fund to the department of local affairs to reduce employer contributions for volunteer and part-time firefighters in the following amounts:

  • $300,000 for state fiscal year 2024-25;
  • 500,000 for state fiscal year 2025-26;
  • 650,000 for state fiscal year 2026-27; and
  • $1,000,000 for state fiscal year 2027-28.

In addition, on July 1, 2028, the state treasurer is required to transfer $2,500,000 from the general fund to the firefighter benefits cash fund and to transfer sufficient funds, subject to annual appropriation, on each July 1 thereafter, to reimburse employers for the direct costs of providing the benefits for volunteer and part-time firefighters under the firefighter heart and circulatory malfunction benefits program.

The general assembly is required to appropriate money from the general fund to the division of criminal justice in the department of public safety for reimbursing a multiple employer health trust for providing cardiovascular screenings for peace officers in the following amounts:

  • $200,000 for state fiscal year 2024-25;
  • 250,000 for state fiscal year 2025-26;
  • 350,000 for state fiscal year 2026-27;
  • $500,000 for state fiscal year 2027-28; and
  • $1,000,000 for state fiscal year 2028-29.

For state fiscal year 2024-25, the act appropriates $300,000 from the general fund to the department of local affairs for use by the division of local government for firefighter heart and circulatory malfunction benefits and $200,000 from the general fund to the department of public safety for use by the division of criminal justice for cardiovascular screenings for peace officers.

APPROVED by Governor May 29, 2024

EFFECTIVE May 29, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details