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Introduced Version House Bill 4471 History

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hb4471 intr
H. B. 4471


(By Delegates Spencer, DeLong, Caputo,
Perry, Boggs, Stemple and Crosier)
[Introduced February 8, 2008; referred to the
Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §15-2-24b; to amend and reenact §15-2A-6, §15-2A-9, §15-2A-10 and §15-2A-12 of said code; and to amend and reenact §61-7-4 of said code, all relating to the West Virginia State Police Retirement System; lowering the normal retirement age; eliminating any reduction in the disability benefit of a State Police officer who is disabled on the job; increasing limit on scholarship money available to certain surviving dependent children; raising fees for certain fingerprinting services and permits to carry deadly weapon; and dedicating additional fees to the State Police Retirement 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 §15-2-24b; that §15-2A-6, §15-2A-9, §15-2A-10 and §15-2A-12 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that §61-7-4 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.

ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE.
§15-2-24b. Fees for certain fingerprinting services; dedication of fees.

In addition to any fees that may be established or collected by the State Police under any other provision of this article or rule promulgated pursuant thereto, the State Police shall collect a fee of ten dollars for performing adult private employment fingerprinting or fingerprinting for federal firearm permits. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the West Virginia State Police Retirement System and shall be in addition to employer percent-of-payroll contribution.
ARTICLE 2A. WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§15-2A-6. Retirement; commencement of benefits.

(a) A member may retire with full benefits upon attaining the age of fifty-five fifty and completing twenty twenty-five or more years of service or attaining the age of fifty-two and completing twenty years or more of service, by lodging with the Consolidated Public Retirement Board his or her voluntary petition in writing for retirement. A member who is less than age fifty-five fifty may retire upon completing twenty twenty-five years or more of service: Provided, That he or she will receive a reduced benefit that is of equal actuarial value to the benefit the member would have received if the member deferred commencement of his or her accrued retirement benefit to the age of fifty-five.
(b) When the retirement board retires a member with full benefits under the provisions of this section, the board, by order in writing, shall make a determination that the member is entitled to receive an annuity equal to two and three-fourths percent of his or her final average salary multiplied by the number of years, and fraction of a year, of his or her service in the department at the time of retirement. The member's annuity shall begin the first day of the calendar month following the month in which the member's application for the annuity is filed with the board on or after his or her attaining age and service requirements, and termination of employment.
(c) In no event may the provisions of section thirteen, article sixteen, chapter five be applied in determining eligibility to retire with either a deferred or immediate commencement of benefit.
§15-2A-9. Awards and benefits for disability. -- Incurred in performance of duty.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a member of the department who has not yet entered retirement status on the basis of age and service and who becomes partially disabled by injury, illness or disease resulting from any occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the services required of members of the department and incurred pursuant to or while the member was engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the department shall, if, in the opinion of the retirement board, he or she is, by reason of such cause, unable to perform adequately the duties required of him or her as a member of the department, but is able to engage in other gainful employment in a field other than law enforcement, be retired from active service by the board. The member thereafter is entitled to receive annually and there shall be paid to the member from the fund in equal monthly installments during the lifetime of the member, or until the member attains the age of fifty-five or until the disability sooner terminates, one or the other of two amounts, whichever is greater:
(1) An amount equal to six tenths of the base salary received in the preceding twelve-month employment period: Provided, That if the member had not been employed with the department for twelve months prior to the disability, the amount of monthly salary shall be annualized for the purpose of determining the benefit; or
(2) The sum of six thousand dollars.
Upon attaining age fifty-five fifty, the member shall receive the benefit provided in section six of this article
if it is a higher benefit than the benefit the member is receiving under the disability provisions set out above, as it would apply to his or her final average salary based on earnings from the department through the day immediately preceding his or her disability. The recalculation of benefit upon a member attaining age fifty-five fifty shall be considered to be a retirement under the provisions of section six of this article, for purposes of determining the amount of annual annuity adjustment and for all other purposes of this article. A benefit received by a member based on a disability as set out above may not be reduced during the lifetime of the member: Provided, That a member who is partially disabled under this article may not, while in receipt of benefits for partial disability, be employed as a law-enforcement officer: Provided however, That a member retired on a partial disability under this article may serve as an elected sheriff or appointed chief of police in the state without a loss of disability retirement benefits so long as such elected or appointed position is shown to the satisfaction of the board, to require the performance of administrative duties and functions only, as opposed to the full range of duties of a law-enforcement officer.
(b) Any member who has not yet entered retirement status on the basis of age and service and who becomes physically or mentally disabled by injury, illness or disease on a probable permanent basis resulting from any occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the services required of members of the department and incurred pursuant to or while the member was or is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the department to the extent that the member is incapacitated ever to engage in any gainful employment, the member is entitled to receive annually, and there shall be paid to the member from the fund in equal monthly installments during the lifetime of the member or until the disability sooner terminates, an amount equal to the amount of the base salary received by the member in the preceding twelve-month employment period.
(c) The superintendent of the department may expend moneys from funds appropriated for the department in payment of medical, surgical, laboratory, X-ray, hospital, ambulance and dental expenses and fees, and reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the purchase of artificial limbs and other approved appliances which may be reasonably necessary for any member of the department who is temporarily, permanently or totally disabled by injury, illness or disease resulting from any occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the service required of members of the department and incurred pursuant to or while the member was or shall be engaged in the performance of duties as a member of the department. Whenever the superintendent determines that any disabled member is ineligible to receive any of the aforesaid benefits at public expense, the superintendent shall, at the request of the disabled member, refer the matter to the board for hearing and final decision. In no case will the compensation rendered to health care providers for medical and hospital services exceed the then current rate schedule in use by the Bureau of Employment Programs, Workers' Compensation Division
approved by the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner.
§15-2A-10. Same -- Due to other causes.
(a) If any member while in active service of the State Police department becomes partially or totally disabled on a probable permanent basis to the extent that the member cannot adequately perform the duties required of a member of the department from any cause other than those set forth in the preceding section and not due to vicious habits, intemperance or willful misconduct on his or her part, the member shall be retired by the board. There shall be paid annually to the member from the fund in equal monthly installments, commencing on the date the member is retired and continuing during the lifetime of the member; or until the member attains the age of fifty-five fifty; while in status of retirement an amount equal to one-half the base salary received by the member in the preceding twelve-month period: Provided, That if the member had not been employed with the department for twelve months prior to the disability, the amount of monthly salary shall be annualized for the purpose of determining the benefit.
(b) Upon attaining age fifty-five fifty, the member shall receive the benefit provided in section six of this article as it would apply to his or her final average salary based on earnings from the department through the day immediately preceding his or her disability. The recalculation of benefit upon a member attaining age fifty-five fifty shall be considered to be a retirement under the provisions of section six of this article, for purposes of determining the amount of annual annuity adjustment and for all other purposes of this article.
§15-2A-12. Awards and benefits to dependents of member - when member dies in performance of duty, etc.; dependent child scholarship and amount.

The surviving spouse, the dependent child or children or dependent parent or parents of any member who has lost or shall lose his or her life by reason of injury, illness or disease resulting from an occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the service required of members while the member was engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the department, or the survivor of a member who dies from any cause after having been retired pursuant to the provisions of section nine of this article, is entitled to receive and shall be paid from the fund benefits as follows: To the surviving spouse annually, in equal monthly installments during his or her lifetime, one or the other of two amounts, which shall become immediately available and which shall be the greater of:
(1) An amount equal to nine tenths of the base salary received in the preceding twelve-month employment period by the deceased member: Provided, That if the member had not been employed with the department for twelve months prior to his or her death, the amount of monthly salary shall be annualized for the purpose of determining the benefit; or
(2) The sum of ten thousand dollars.
In addition thereto, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive and there shall be paid to the person one hundred fifty dollars monthly for each dependent child or children. If the surviving spouse dies or if there is no surviving spouse, there shall be paid monthly to each dependent child or children from the fund a sum equal to one third of the surviving spouse's entitlement. If there is no surviving spouse and no dependent child or children, there shall be paid annually in equal monthly installments from the fund to the dependent parents of the deceased member during their joint lifetimes a sum equal to the amount which a surviving spouse, without children, would have received: Provided, That when there is but one dependent parent surviving, that parent is entitled to receive during his or her lifetime one-half the amount which both parents, if living, would have been entitled to receive.
Any person qualifying as a surviving dependent child under this section, in addition to any other benefits due under this or other sections of this article, is entitled to receive a scholarship to be applied to the career development education of that person. This sum, up to but not exceeding seven thousand five hundred forty-five thousand dollars, shall be paid from the fund to any university or college in this state or to any trade or vocational school or other entity in this state approved by the board, to offset the expenses of tuition, room and board, books, fees or other costs incurred in a course of study at any of these institutions so long as the recipient makes application to the board on an approved form and under rules provided by the board, and maintains scholastic eligibility as defined by the institution or the board. The board may by appropriate rules define age requirements, physical and mental requirements, scholastic eligibility, disbursement methods, institutional qualifications and other requirements as necessary and not inconsistent with this section.
Awards and benefits for a surviving spouse or dependents of a member received under any section or any of the provisions of this retirement system are in lieu of receipt of any benefits for these persons under the provisions of any other state retirement system. Receipt of benefits under any other state retirement system is in lieu of any right to receive any benefits under this retirement system, so that only a single receipt of state retirement benefits occurs.
It is the intent of the Legislature that the levels of benefits provided by operation of this section from the effective date of the enactment of this section during the regular session of the Legislature, two thousand five, be the same levels of benefits as provided by this section as amended and reenacted during the fourth extraordinary session of the Legislature, two thousand five. Accordingly, the effective date of the operation of this section as amended and reenacted during the fourth extraordinary session of the Legislature, two thousand five, is expressly made retrospective to the ninth day of April, two thousand five.
CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.

ARTICLE 7. DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
§61-7-4. License to carry deadly weapons; how obtained.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, any person desiring to obtain a state license to carry a concealed deadly weapon shall apply to the sheriff of his or her county for such license, and shall pay to the sheriff, at the time of application, a fee of seventy-five dollars, of which fifteen dollars of that amount shall be deposited in the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Fund created by section six, article twenty-six, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Concealed weapons permits may only be issued for pistols or revolvers. Each applicant shall file with the sheriff, a complete application, as prepared by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing, duly verified, which sets forth only the following licensing requirements:
(1) The applicant's full name, date of birth, social security number and a description of the applicant's physical features;
(2) That, on the date the application is made, the applicant is a bona fide resident of this state and of the county in which the application is made and has a valid driver's license or other state-issued photo identification showing such residence;
(3) That the applicant is twenty-one years of age or older: Provided, That any individual who is less than twenty-one years of age and possesses a properly issued concealed weapons license as of the effective date of this article shall be licensed to maintain his or her concealed weapons license notwithstanding the provisions of this section requiring new applicants to be at least twenty-one years of age: Provided, however, That upon a showing of any applicant who is eighteen years of age or older that he or she is required to carry a concealed weapon as a condition for employment, and presents satisfactory proof to the sheriff thereof, then he or she shall be issued a license upon meeting all other conditions of this section. Upon discontinuance of employment that requires the concealed weapons license, if the individual issued the license is not yet twenty-one years of age, then the individual issued the license is no longer eligible and must return his or her license to the issuing sheriff;
(4) That the applicant is not addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance or a drug and is not an unlawful user thereof;
(5) That the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or of an act of violence involving the misuse of a deadly weapon;
(6) That the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under the provisions of section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or the provisions of subsection (b) or (c), section nine, article two of this chapter in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant has a child in common, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant's child or ward or a member of the defendant's household at the time of the offense; or a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements in a jurisdiction other than this state;
(7) That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction or is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction;
(8) That the applicant is physically and mentally competent to carry such weapon;
(9) That the applicant has not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent;
(10) That the applicant has qualified under the minimum requirements set forth in subsection (d) of this section for handling and firing such weapon: Provided, That this requirement shall be waived in the case of a renewal applicant who has previously qualified;
(11) That the applicant authorizes the sheriff of the county, or his or her designee, to conduct an investigation relative to the information contained in the application.
(b) The sheriff shall conduct an investigation which shall verify that the information required in subdivisions (1), (2), (3), (5), (6), (8) and (9), subsection (a) of this section are true and correct.
(c) Sixty dollars of the application fee and any fees for replacement of lost or stolen licenses received by the sheriff shall be deposited by the sheriff into a Concealed Weapons License Administration Fund. Such fund shall be administered by the sheriff and shall take the form of an interest bearing account with any interest earned to be compounded to the fund. Any funds deposited in this Concealed Weapon License Administration Fund are to be expended by the sheriff to pay for the costs associated with issuing concealed weapons licenses. Any surplus in the fund on hand at the end of each fiscal year may be expended for other law-enforcement purposes or operating needs of the sheriff's office, as the sheriff may consider appropriate.
(d) All persons applying for a license must complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement:
(1) Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;
(2) Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college or private or public institution or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors duly certified by such institution;
(3) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;
(4) Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States Military, Reserve or National Guard.
A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted or taught said course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class shall constitute evidence of qualification under this section.
(e) All concealed weapons license applications must be notarized by a notary public duly licensed under article four, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Falsification of any portion of the application constitutes false swearing and is punishable under the provisions of section two, article five, chapter sixty-one of this code.
(f) If the information in the application is found to be true and correct, the sheriff shall issue a license. The sheriff shall issue or deny the license within forty-five days after the application is filed if all required background checks authorized by this section are completed.
(g) Before any approved license shall be issued or become effective, the applicant shall pay to the sheriff a fee in the amount of fifteen forty-five dollars which the sheriff shall forward to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police within thirty days of receipt. Thirty dollars of each forty-five dollar fee received by the superintendent shall be deposited in the West Virginia State Police Retirement Fund, and shall be in addition to employer percent-of-payroll contribution. The Any such license shall be valid for five years throughout the state, unless sooner revoked.
(h) All persons holding a current and valid concealed weapons license as of the sixteenth day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, shall continue to hold a valid concealed weapons license until his or her license expires or is revoked as provided in this article: Provided, That all reapplication fees shall be waived for applications received by the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, for any person holding a current and valid concealed weapons license as of the sixteenth day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, which contains use restrictions placed upon the license as a condition of issuance by the issuing circuit court. Any licenses reissued pursuant to this subsection will be issued for the time period of the original license.
(i) Each license shall contain the full name, social security number and address of the licensee and a space upon which the signature of the licensee shall be signed with pen and ink. The issuing sheriff shall sign and attach his or her seal to all license cards. The sheriff shall provide to each new licensee a duplicate license card, in size similar to other state identification cards and licenses, suitable for carrying in a wallet, and such license card is deemed a license for the purposes of this section.
(j) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall prepare uniform applications for licenses and license cards showing that such license has been granted and shall do any other act required to be done to protect the state and see to the enforcement of this section.
(k) In the event an application is denied, the specific reasons for the denial shall be stated by the sheriff denying the application. Any person denied a license may file, in the circuit court of the county in which the application was made, a petition seeking review of the denial. Such petition shall be filed within thirty days of the denial. The court shall then determine whether the applicant is entitled to the issuance of a license under the criteria set forth in this section. The applicant may be represented by counsel, but in no case shall the court be required to appoint counsel for an applicant. The final order of the court shall include the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the final order upholds the denial, the applicant may file an appeal in accordance with the rules of appellate procedure of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
(l) In the event a license is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the license was issued may obtain a duplicate or substitute license for a fee of five dollars by filing a notarized statement with the sheriff indicating that the license has been lost or destroyed.
(m) The sheriff shall, immediately after the license is granted as aforesaid, furnish the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police a certified copy of the approved application. It shall be the duty of the sheriff to furnish to the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police at any time so requested a certified list of all such licenses issued in the county. The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police shall maintain a registry of all persons who have been issued concealed weapons licenses.
(n) All licensees must carry with them a state-issued photo identification card with the concealed weapons license whenever the licensee is carrying a concealed weapon. Any licensee who fails to have in his or her possession a state-issued photo identification card and a current concealed weapons license while carrying a concealed weapon shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty or more than two hundred dollars for each offense.
(o) The sheriff shall deny any application or revoke any existing license upon determination that any of the licensing application requirements established in this section have been violated by the licensee.
(p) No person who is engaged in the receipt, review or in the issuance or revocation of a concealed weapon license shall incur any civil liability as the result of the lawful performance of his or her duties under this article.
(q) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, with respect to application by a former law-enforcement officer honorably retired from agencies governed by article fourteen, chapter seven of this code; article fourteen, chapter eight of this code; article two, chapter fifteen of this code; and article seven, chapter twenty of this code, an honorably retired officer is exempt from payment of fees and costs as otherwise required by this section, and the application of the honorably retired officer shall be granted without proof or inquiry by the sheriff as to those requirements set forth in subdivision (9), subsection (a) of this section, if the officer meets the remainder of the requirements of this section and has the approval of the appropriate chief law-enforcement officer.
(r) Except as restricted or prohibited by the provisions of this article or as otherwise prohibited by law, the issuance of a concealed weapon permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this section shall authorize the holder of the permit to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the lands or waters of this state.

NOTE:
This committee substitute would lower the normal retirement age for State Police officers under this retirement plan, eliminate any reduction in the benefit of a State Police officer who is disabled on the job, raise the cap on scholarship money available certain surviving dependent children, and increase and dedicate certain fees to the State Police Retirement 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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