Senate Bill No. 69
(By Senators Sypolt, Barnes, Jenkins, D. Facemire and Williams)
[Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §29-12A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to clarifying that fire chiefs and line officers working with paid and volunteer fire departments are employees who are provided immunity under the Governmental Tort Claims and Insurance Reform Act.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §29-12A-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12A. GOVERNMENTAL TORT CLAIMS AND INSURANCE REFORM ACT.
As used in this article:
(a) "Employee" means an officer, agent, employee, or servant, whether compensated or not, whether full-time or not, who is authorized to act and is acting with the scope of his or her employment for a political subdivision. "Employee" includes, but is not limited to, any elected or appointed official of a political subdivision and fire chiefs and line officers working with paid or volunteer fire departments. "Employee" does not include an independent contractor of a political subdivision.
(b) "Municipality" means any incorporated city, town or village and all institutions, agencies or instrumentalities of a municipality.
(c) "Political subdivision" means any county commission, municipality and county board of education; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties or municipalities, as permitted by law; any instrumentality supported in most part by municipalities; any public body charged by law with the performance of a government function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns; a combined city-county health department created pursuant to article two, chapter sixteen of this code; public service districts; and other instrumentalities including, but not limited to, volunteer fire departments and emergency service organizations as recognized by an appropriate public body and authorized by law to perform a government function: Provided, That hospitals of a political subdivision and their employees are expressly excluded from the provisions of this article.
(d) "Scope of employment" means performance by an employee acting in good faith within the duties of his or her office or employment or tasks lawfully assigned by a competent authority but does not include corruption or fraud.
(e) "State" means the State of West Virginia, including, but not limited to, the Legislature, the Supreme Court of Appeals, the offices of all elected state officers, and all departments, boards, offices, commissions, agencies, colleges and universities, institutions, and other instrumentalities of the State of West Virginia. "State" does not include political subdivisions.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify that fire chiefs and line officers working with paid and volunteer fire departments are employees that are provided immunity under the Governmental Tort Claims and Insurance Reform Act.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.