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AB-1368 Death benefits: tribal firefighters.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/26/2019 09:00 PM
AB1368:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1368


Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 4703.5, 4709, and 4856 of the Labor Code, relating to death benefits.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1368, as amended, Eduardo Garcia. Death benefits: tribal firefighters.
Existing law governs the payment of death benefits to certain employees, including state firefighters, who are killed in the line of duty. Existing law provides certain methods for determining death benefits payable to an employee’s dependents, and extends the payment of death benefits for the dependents of a firefighter, as specified, who is killed in the performance of duty until the firefighter’s youngest child attains 19 years of age. Existing law provides for the payment of a scholarship to dependents of specified firefighters killed in the performance of duty. Existing law also requires the employer of a firefighter who is killed in the performance of duty, or who dies as a result of specified accidents or injuries, to continue providing health benefits to the deceased firefighter’s spouse unless the spouse elects to receive a lump-sum survivor’s benefit in lieu of monthly benefits.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would extend death benefits to firefighters who are employed by tribal fire departments and are killed in the line of duty.

This bill would extend those benefits to a firefighter employed by a tribal fire department.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4703.5 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

4703.5.
 (a) In the case of one or more totally dependent children, as defined in Section 3501, after payment of the amount specified in Section 4702, and notwithstanding the maximum limitations specified in Sections 4702 and 4703, payment of death benefits shall continue until the youngest child attains 18 years of age, or until the death of a child physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, in the same manner and amount as temporary total disability indemnity would have been paid to the employee, except that no payment shall not be made at a weekly rate of less than two hundred twenty-four dollars ($224).
(b) (1) Notwithstanding the age limitation in subdivision (a), the payment of death benefits shall continue until the youngest child attains 19 years of age if the child is still attending high school and is receiving the death benefits as a child of an active member of a sheriff’s office, an active member of a police or fire department of a city, county, city and county, district, or other public or municipal corporation or political subdivision, an individual described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code who is primarily engaged in active law enforcement activities, active firefighting member of a tribal fire department, active firefighting member of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or an active member of any a county forestry or firefighting department or unit killed in the performance of duty.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a child of a person whose principal duties are clerical or otherwise do not clearly fall within the scope of active law enforcement or active firefighting services, such as stenographers, telephone operators, and other office workers.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4709 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

4709.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a dependent of a peace officer, as defined in Section 830.1, 830.2, 830.3, 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, 830.34, 830.35, 830.36, 830.37, 830.38, 830.39, 830.4, 830.5, or 830.6 of the Penal Code, or a Sheriff’s Special Officer of the County of Orange, who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or an injury caused by external violence or physical force, incurred in the performance of duty, when if the death, accident, or injury is compensable under this division or Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100) shall be entitled to a scholarship at any a qualifying institution described in subdivision (l) of Section 69432.7 of the Education Code. The scholarship shall be in an amount equal to the amount provided a student who has been awarded a Cal Grant scholarship as specified in Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430) of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code.
(b) A dependent of an officer or employee of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice, described in Section 20403 of the Government Code, who is killed in the performance of duty, or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or an injury incurred in the performance of duty, when if the death, accident, or injury is caused by the direct action of an inmate, and is compensable under this division or Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100), shall also be entitled to a scholarship specified in this section.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a dependent of a firefighter employed by a county, city, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state, who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or injury incurred in the performance of duty, when if the death, accident, or injury is compensable under this division or Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 6100), shall also be entitled to a scholarship specified in this section.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, the dependent of a firefighter employed by a tribal fire department, who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies or is totally disabled as a result of an accident or injury incurred in the performance of duty, is entitled to a scholarship specified in this section.

(d)Nothing in this

(e) This section shall not be interpreted to allow the admittance of the dependent into a college or university unless the dependent is otherwise qualified to gain admittance to the college or university.

(e)

(f) The scholarship provided for by this section shall be paid out of funds annually appropriated in the Budget Act to the Student Aid Commission established by Article 2 (commencing with Section 69510) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code.

(f)

(g) The receipt of a scholarship provided for by this section shall not preclude a dependent from receiving a Cal Grant award pursuant to Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430) of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, any other grant, or any fee waivers that may be provided by an institution of higher education. The receipt of a Cal Grant award pursuant to Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 69430) of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code, any other grant, or any fee waivers that may be provided by an institution of higher education shall not preclude a dependent from receiving a scholarship provided for by this section.

(g)

(h) As used in this section, “dependent” means the children (natural or adopted) or spouse, at the time of the death or injury, of the peace officer, law enforcement officer, or firefighter.

(h)

(i) Eligibility for a scholarship under this section shall be limited to a person who demonstrates financial need as determined by the Student Aid Commission pursuant to Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 69503) of Chapter 2 of Part 42 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code. For purposes of determining financial need, the proceeds of death benefits received by the dependent, including, but not limited to, a continuation of income received from the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the proceeds from the federal Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Act, life insurance policies, proceeds from Sections 4702 and 4703.5, any a private scholarship where if receipt is predicated upon the recipient being the survivor of a deceased public safety officer, the scholarship awarded pursuant to Section 68120 of the Education Code, and any interest received from these benefits, shall not be considered.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4856 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

4856.
 (a) Whenever any If a local employee who is a firefighter, or including a firefighter of a tribal fire department, a peace officer as described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or a Sheriff’s Special Officer of the County of Orange, is killed in the performance of his or her duty or dies as a result of an accident or injury caused by external violence or physical force incurred in the performance of his or her duty, the employer shall continue providing health benefits to the deceased employee’s spouse under the same terms and conditions provided prior to before the death, or prior to before the accident or injury that caused the death, of the employee unless the surviving spouse elects to receive a lump-sum survivors benefit in lieu of monthly benefits. Minor dependents shall continue to receive benefits under the coverage provided the surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, until the age of 21 years. However, pursuant to Section 22822 of the Government Code, the surviving spouse may not add the new spouse or stepchildren as family members under the continued health benefits coverage of the surviving spouse.
(b) Subdivision (a) also applies to the employer of any a local employee who is a firefighter, or peace officer as described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, who was killed in the performance of his or her duty or who died as a result of an accident or injury caused by external violence or physical force incurred in the performance of his or her duty prior to before September 30, 1996.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would extend death benefits to firefighters who are employed by tribal fire departments and are killed in the line of duty.