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Introduced Version Senate Bill 252 History

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sb252 intr
Senate Bill No. 252

(By Senators Unger, McKenzie, Minard, Bailey, Dempsey, Barnes, Jenkins, Oliverio and Hunter)

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[Introduced February 22, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Banking and Insurance; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §15-1B-27, relating to creating a fund to reimburse group life insurance premiums paid by members of the National Guard in exchange for and in recognition of their assumption of extended periods of active duty in combat areas; establishing a Service Members' Life Insurance Reimbursement Fund in the state Treasury; requiring promulgation of emergency rules; and providing for appropriations to the Fund.

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 §15-1B-27, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1B. NATIONAL GUARD.

§15-1B-27. Reimbursement of group life insurance premiums.

(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) The West Virginia National Guard has a proud tradition of military service with thousands of West Virginians serving the state and the nation in the National Guard;
(2) There have been instances in which the dependents of members of the West Virginia National Guard have been left without adequate financial resources when a National Guard Member has been killed while on active duty;
(3) Members of the West Virginia National Guard
are now being asked to serve extended periods of active duty in combat areas;
(4) Members of the West Virginia National Guard are eligible for life insurance policies that are currently limited to two hundred fifty thousand dollars through the federal service members' group life insurance program; and
(5) Members of the West Virginia National Guard provide West Virginia and its citizens valuable benefits through both their service inside this state and through their recently extended periods of active duty in combat areas outside of West Virginia, and in exchange for these extended periods of active duty they should receive assistance with their premiums for the federal service members' group life insurance program.
(b) The purpose of creating and funding the service members' Life Insurance Reimbursement Fund is to provide a benefit to all members of the West Virginia National Guard in exchange for and in recognition of their assumption of extended periods of active duty in combat areas, in addition to their increased contributions to the safety and welfare of the citizens of the State of West Virginia.
(c) The "West Virginia Service Members' Life Insurance Reimbursement Fund" is hereby created in the State Treasury. The fund shall consist of legislative appropriations to the fund, gifts, grants, donations, bequests and income from investment of the fund.
(d) The fund shall be administered by the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and money in the fund is appropriated to the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety
for the purpose of reimbursing eligible members of the West Virginia National Guard for premiums paid for benefits under the service members' group life insurance program pursuant to 38 U.S.C Section 1965 et seq., as amended.
(e) The Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety shall promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to determine eligibility for reimbursement from the Service Members' Life Insurance Reimbursement Fund and to implement a reimbursement program.
(f) Nothing in this section is intended to alter, amend or change the eligibility or applicability of the service members' group life insurance program pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Section 1965 et seq., as amended, or any rights, responsibilities or benefits thereunder.
(g) The Legislature finds that one million two hundred thousand dollars is needed to fully fund the Service Members' Life Insurance Reimbursement Fund herein established. The Legislature may appropriate by a separate appropriation bill these funds for expenditure in fiscal years two thousand five and two thousand six to pay premium reimbursements pursuant to the provisions of this section. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal years two thousand five, two thousand six shall revert to the General Fund.
(h) The provisions of this section apply to premiums paid on or after the effective date of this section.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a fund to reimburse group life insurance premiums paid by members of the National Guard in exchange for and in recognition of their service in this state and their assumption of extended periods of active duty in combat areas.

This section is new, therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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