A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWS RELATED TO (1) LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS' RELIEF FUNDS, THE STATEWIDE FIREFIGHTERS' RELIEF FUND, AND THE RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS' RELIEF FUND, (2) WORKERS' COMPENSATION FOR FIREFIGHTERS AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS, (3) SUPPLEMENTAL PENSIONS FOR FIREFIGHTERS AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS, AND (4) THE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT FUND AND VOLUNTEER RESCUE/EMS FUND, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM EVALUATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.
House Committee Substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition. Amends GS 58-84-25 (c) to require a county to provide the Insurance Commissioner with the tax value of property located in each fire district in that county by February 1 of each year (was, January 1 of each year). Makes a clarifying change to subsection (d), deleting an extraneous dependent clause.
Amends GS 58-84-35(a)(7) to declare that a local board of trustees may disburse funds to provide for annual physicals required for firefighter positions by the Department of Labor or that are recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (was, by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and recommended by the National Fire Protection Administration.)
Amends GS 58-84-40(d) to provide that if the local relief fund provided for in this Article finds itself impaired due to lack of funds, then the Statewide Firefighters' Relief Fund (was, Firefighters' Relief Fund) may at the discretion of its board of trustees assist the local unit administering the fund in providing for relief to injured firefighters.
Amends GS 58-84-46 to provide that a fire chief authorized by a city or county to do so may file a certificate of eligibility.
Makes additional changes to clarify when references are to the Statewide Firefighters' Relief Fund and when they are to a local Firefighters' Relief Fund.
Makes changes to GS 58-84-25(c1) to authorize the Insurance Commissioner to reallocate funds from a county with local relief funds' balances that exceed the amount provided under GS 58-84-33(a) to other counties with fire districts that do not exceed the amount provided under GS 58-84-33(a).
Amends GS 58-84-33 by adding a subsection (d) which allows a board of trustees of a local Firefighters' Relief Fund, with authorization from and under guidelines provided by the North Carolina State Firemen's Association (Association), to dedicate a portion of the local Firefighters Relief Fund towards providing supplemental retirement. Provides that regardless of the cap on maximum fund balances under subsection (a) of this section, if the dedicated amounts are used only for supplemental retirement within the guidelines provided by the Association, then the dedicated amounts do not count towards the maximum allowable balance under subsection (a).
Provides clarifying changes to the 2015 grant process in GS 58-87-1(a1), providing that the grants must be awarded by the Commissioner on May 15 or on the first business day after May 15 if it falls on a weekend or holiday. Amends the limitations for the awarding of the grants, providing that the applicant for the grant must match the grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis unless the applicant receives less than $50,000 per year from municipal and county funding (previously, if received less than $50,000 per year from other sources). Expands the limitations on what the grant funds can be used towards to include costs of putting property acquired from the Department of Defense through the Firefighter Property and federal Excess Property programs.
Amends GS 58-87-5, Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund to provide that grants can be awarded to volunteer rescue/EMS units and EMS units in addition to just volunteer rescue units. Provides clarifying changes to the requirement that grants are to be awarded on December 15, if that day falls on a non-business day. Makes technical changes.Enacts new GS 58-87-5(d), providing that 'emergency medical service' or 'EMS' has the same meaning as in GS 131E-155(6). Provides further clarification on the definition of these terms. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 58-87-7, concerning oversight of grant awards, providing that if the grant recipient ceases to exist in a specified time period, it must transfer, subject to the approval of the Department of Insurance, all equipment purchased with grant funds to the entity that will provide service to the grant recipient's service area.