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Introduced Version House Bill 3263 History

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H. B. 3263


         (By Delegates Armstead, Nelson, Skaff, Kominar,

                    C. Miller and Miley)


         [Introduced February 21, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]

 

 

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-15-8d; and to amend and reenact §60-3-17 of said code, all relating to providing assistance to volunteer fire departments; creating new Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Retention Fund to which the Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner is directed to transfer funds; providing for the allocation and distribution of state funds to volunteer fire companies and departments for the purpose of defraying the cost of workers’ compensation payments; providing duties for State Treasurer and State Insurance Commissioner; imposing requirements for the use of distributed allocations; and providing disposition of undistributed portion of the funds.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-15-8d; and that §60-3-17 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.

ARTICLE 15. FIRE FIGHTING; FIRE COMPANIES AND DEPARTMENTS; CIVIL SERVICE FOR PAID FIRE DEPARTMENTS.

§8-15-8d. Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Fund benefits for members of volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments; special fund created; allocation of proceeds; duties of State Treasurer and State Insurance Commissioner.

    (a) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special revenue fund to be administered by the State Treasurer, designated the “Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Fund”. The fund consists of all moneys deposited pursuant to section seventeen, article three, chapter sixty of this code. The moneys of the fund shall be expended solely for the purposes enumerated in subsection (b) of this section. Any earnings or other return on the investment of the moneys in the fund shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund but at the end of each fiscal year the moneys deposited into the fund do not revert to the General Revenue Fund but continue to be held in the fund for expenditure during the ensuing fiscal year except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) (1) On and after July 1, 2011, and each year thereafter, the State Treasurer shall distribute an amount equal to the amount of money in the Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Fund that was collected and deposited into the fund during the next preceding calendar year as provided in this subsection.

    (2) From the net amount collected and deposited into the fund during the next preceding calendar year as provided in this subsection, the State Treasurer shall distribute a share, not to exceed $3 million, certified by the State Treasurer as determined in accordance with subdivision (3) of this subsection, to the state Insurance Commissioner for distribution to each volunteer and part volunteer fire company and department for purposes of defraying the increased workers’ compensation premium expenses for each volunteer and part volunteer fire company and department which are incurred above and beyond the workers’ compensation premiums which were charged to those same departments for the payment year ending on or before June 30, 201l.

    (3) On or before June 1, 2011, the State Fire Marshal shall report to the state Insurance Commissioner the names and addresses of all volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments within the state and the amount the workers’ compensation premium of each such volunteer or part volunteer fire department exceeds the premium that was paid by each such department for the payment year ending on or before June 30, 2011. The state Insurance Commissioner shall distribute to each such volunteer or part volunteer fire department the amount necessary for such department to pay any portion of its assessed workers’ compensation premium which represents an increase over the workers’ compensation premiums charged to such department for the payment year ending on or before June 30, 2011. In the event there are insufficient funds in the special revenue account to pay all of the increased workers’ compensation premium expenses for which grants are sought for payment through this fund, the state Insurance Commission shall develop a means for distributing the available funds among the respective fire departments according to the hardship the increased premium places on each department’s overall budget.

    (4) On or before June 1, 2011, the State Fire Marshal shall propose rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for legislative approval to provide to volunteer and part volunteer fire departments incentives for recruitment and retention of members for volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments. Such incentives may include academic scholarships for use by recruits, members or member’s dependents, length of service awards, automobile licensing discounts or fee waiver or such other incentives as the State Fire Marshal shall deem useful or expedient for recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. The State Fire Marshal shall report such rules to the Legislature no later than July 1, 2011.

    (5) From funds remaining after the distribution of funds required to be distributed in accordance with subdivision (3) of this subsection, if any, as well as any other funds remaining from the net amount collected and deposited into the Volunteer Fire Department Operation and Recruitment and Retention Fund during the next preceding calendar year as provided in this subsection, the State Treasurer shall distribute to individual volunteer and part volunteer fire departments, in accordance with those rules proposed by the State Fire Marshal in accordance with subdivision (4) of this subsection, to provide incentives for recruitment and retention of members for volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments.

    (c) Funds received by volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments pursuant to this section shall be used solely for the cost of:

    (1) Paying any portion of their assessed workers’ compensation premium which represents an increase over the workers’ compensation premiums charged to those same departments for the funding year ending on or before June 30, 2011; or

    (2) Providing incentives for recruitment and retention for their members as determined by the rules promulgated by the State Fire Marshal under subsection (b)(4) of this section.

    Any volunteer or part volunteer fire company or department that fails to expend those funds for those purposes shall repay the amount of the funds to the State Treasurer within one year of receipt. The State Treasurer shall deposit all repaid amounts into the Fire Protection Fund administered pursuant to section thirty-four of this article.

CHAPTER 60. STATE CONTROL OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS.

ARTICLE 3. SALES BY COMMISSIONER.

§60-3-17. Regulations as to handling and depositing of moneys collected; monthly remittances; remittances to the West Virginia Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Retention Fund beginning July 1, 2011; criminal penalty.

    (a) The commissioner, with the approval of the State Treasurer, shall prescribe regulations for the handling and depositing of all moneys collected by the commissioner. All receipts accruing to and available for the General Revenue Fund in excess of the requirements of the operating fund, the requirements of subsection (b) of this section and the license fee and additional sales tax imposed by the provisions of this chapter shall be remitted by the commissioner to the State Treasury monthly within fifteen days next after the end of each calendar month.

    (b) Beginning July 1, 2011, from the moneys collected annually by the commissioner in excess of the requirements of the operating fund, $5 million of the excess amount shall be remitted by the commissioner to the State Treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the West Virginia Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Fund established in section eight-d, article fifteen, chapter eight of this code. After the requirements of the operating fund have been met, the amounts required by this subsection shall be remitted by the commissioner to the State Treasury monthly within fifteen days next after the end of each calendar month and deposited in pro rata amounts into that funds.

    (c) If the commissioner fails to remit such moneys to the State Treasury within the time specified in accordance with the provisions of this section, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined $1000.

 


    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to add new language allocating funds to a Volunteer Firefighters Workers’ Compensation and Volunteer Retention Fund.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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