Legislative Update - March 9 2016

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16100160D

HOUSE BILL NO. 25

Offered January 13, 2016

Prefiled November 17, 2015

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 18.2-151.1, relating to tampering, etc., with firefighting equipment; penalty.

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Patron-- Habeeb

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Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 18.2-151.1 as follows:
  • 18.2-151.1. Injuring, destroying, removing, or tampering with firefighting equipment; penalty.

Any person who injures, destroys, removes, tampers with, or otherwise interferes with the operation of any equipment or apparatus used for fighting fires and for protecting property and human life by a fire company or fire department, as those terms are defined in § 27-6.01, intending to temporarily or permanently prevent the useful operation of such equipment or apparatus is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

Currently in Conference Committee

 

16105123D

HOUSE BILL NO. 44

AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE

(Proposed by the House Committee on Commerce and Labor

on February 9, 2016)

(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Habeeb)

A BILL to amend and reenact § 65.2-105 of the Code of Virginia, relating to workers' compensation; presumption; injuries in course of employment.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That § 65.2-105 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
  • 65.2-105. Presumption that certain injuries arose out of and in the course of employment.

In any claim for compensation, where the employee (i) is physically or mentally unable to testify as confirmed by competent medical evidence, (ii) dies with there being no evidence that he ever regained consciousness after the accident, (iii) dies at the accident location or nearby, or (iv) is found dead where he is reasonably expected to be as an employee, and where the factual circumstances are of sufficient strength from which the only rational inference to be drawn is that the accident arose out of and in the course of employment, it shall be presumed the accident arose out of and in the course of employment, unless such presumption is overcome by a preponderance of competent evidence to the contrary.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before March 11, 2015

16100540D

HOUSE BILL NO. 311

Offered January 13, 2016

Prefiled January 5, 2016

A BILL to require the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to undertake efforts to establish collaborative agreements with other states to allow emergency medical services providers to provide emergency medical services across state lines.

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Patrons-- Orrock and Landes

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Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions

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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. § 1. That the Secretary of Health and Human Resources shall undertake efforts to establish collaborative agreements with other states, particularly those states that share a border with the Commonwealth, for the interstate recognition of certifications of emergency medical services providers for the purpose of allowing emergency medical services providers to enter into other states to provide emergency medical services and shall report to the General Assembly regarding the status of such efforts no later than November 1, 2016.
  2. That an emergency exists and this act is in force from its passage.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before April 11, 2016

 

16101294D

HOUSE BILL NO. 854

Offered January 13, 2016

Prefiled January 12, 2016

A BILL to amend and reenact § 9.1-301 of the Code of Virginia, relating to firefighter or emergency medical services personnel interrogation; observer.

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Patron-- Hugo

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Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That § 9.1-301 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
  • 9.1-301. Conduct of interrogation.

The provisions of this section shall apply whenever a firefighter or emergency medical services personnel are subjected to an interrogation that could lead to dismissal, demotion, or suspension for punitive reasons:

  1. The interrogation shall take place at the facility where the investigating officer is assigned, or at the facility that has jurisdiction over the place where the incident under investigation allegedly occurred, as designated by the investigating officer.
  2. No firefighter or emergency medical services personnel shall be subjected to interrogation without first receiving written notice of sufficient detail of the investigation in order to reasonably apprise the firefighter or emergency medical services personnel of the nature of the investigation.
  3. All interrogations shall be conducted at a reasonable time of day, preferably when the firefighter or individual who meets the definition of "emergency medical services personnel" in § 32.1-111.1 is on duty, unless the matters being investigated are of such a nature that immediate action is required.
  4. The firefighter or emergency medical services personnel under investigation shall be informed of the name, rank, and unit or command of the officer in charge of the investigation, the interrogators, and all persons present during any interrogation.
  5. Interrogation sessions shall be of reasonable duration, and the firefighter or emergency medical services personnel shall be permitted reasonable periods for rest and personal necessities. The firefighter or emergency medical services personnel may have an observer of his choice present during the interrogation, as long as the interview is not unduly delayed. This observer may not participate or represent the employee, may not be involved in the investigation, and must be a current an active or retired member of the Department department, for purposes of confidentiality.
  6. The firefighter or emergency medical services personnel being interrogated shall not be subjected to offensive language or offered any incentive as an inducement to answer any questions.
  7. If a recording of any interrogation is made, and if a transcript of the interrogation is made, the firefighter or emergency medical services personnel under investigation shall be entitled to a copy without charge. Such record may be electronically recorded.
  8. No firefighter or emergency medical services personnel shall be discharged, disciplined, demoted, denied promotion or seniority, or otherwise disciplined or discriminated against in regard to his employment, or be threatened with any such treatment as retaliation for his exercise of any of the rights granted or protected by this chapter.

Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a local governing body from granting its employees rights greater than those contained herein.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before April 11, 2016

 

VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER

An Act to amend and reenact §§ 9.1-400, 9.1-401, 9.1-402 through 9.1-405, 9.1-407, and 58.1-3, as it is currently effective and as it shall become effective, of the Code of Virginia; to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 9.1-400.1 and by adding in Article 3.1 of Chapter 1 of Title 51.1 a section numbered 51.1-124.38; and to repeal § 9.1-406 of the Code of Virginia, relating to benefits for certain public employees disabled in the line of duty and their families, and for the families and beneficiaries of such employees who die in the line of duty.

[H 1345]

Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That §§ 9.1-400, 9.1-401, 9.1-402 through 9.1-405, 9.1-407, and 58.1-3, as it is currently effective and as it shall become effective, of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 9.1-400.1 and by adding in Article 3.1 of Chapter 1 of Title 51.1 a section numbered 51.1-124.38 as follows:
  • 9.1-400. Title of chapter; definitions.
  1. This chapter shall be known and designated as the Line of Duty Act.
  2. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Beneficiary" means the spouse of a deceased person and such persons as are entitled to take under the will of a deceased person if testate, or as his heirs at law if intestate.

(Effective until July 1, 2018) "Deceased person" means any individual whose death occurs on or after April 8, 1972, in the line of duty as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty, including the presumptions under §§ 27-40.1, 27-40.2, 51.1-813, and 65.2-402, and 65.2-402.1 if his position is covered by the applicable statute, as a law-enforcement officer of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions; a correctional officer as defined in § 53.1-1; a jail officer; a regional jail or jail farm superintendent; a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or city sergeant or deputy city sergeant of the City of Richmond; a police chaplain; a member of any fire company or department or emergency medical services agency that has been recognized by an ordinance or a resolution of the governing body of any county, city, or town of the Commonwealth as an integral part of the official safety program of such county, city, or town; a member of any fire company providing fire protection services for facilities of the Virginia National Guard; a member of the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force while such member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty or federal duty under Title 32 of the United States Code; any special agent of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board; any regular or special conservation police officer who receives compensation from a county, city, or town or from the Commonwealth appointed pursuant to the provisions of § 29.1-200; any commissioned forest warden appointed under the provisions of § 10.1-1135; any member or employee of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission granted the power of arrest pursuant to § 28.2-900; any Department of Emergency Management hazardous materials officer; any other employee of the Department of Emergency Management who is performing official duties of the agency, when those duties are related to a major disaster or emergency, as defined in § 44-146.16, that has been or is later declared to exist under the authority of the Governor in accordance with § 44-146.28; any employee of any county, city, or town performing official emergency management or emergency services duties in cooperation with the Department of Emergency Management, when those duties are related to a major disaster or emergency, as defined in § 44-146.16, that has been or is later declared to exist under the authority of the Governor in accordance with § 44-146.28 or a local emergency, as defined in § 44-146.16, declared by a local governing body; any nonfirefighter regional hazardous materials emergency response team member; any conservation officer of the Department of Conservation and Recreation commissioned pursuant to § 10.1-115; or any full-time sworn member of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles appointed pursuant to § 46.2-217.

(Effective July 1, 2018) "Deceased person" means any individual whose death occurs on or after April 8, 1972, in the line of duty as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty, including the presumptions under §§ 27-40.1, 27-40.2, 51.1-813, and 65.2-402,  and 65.2-402.1 if his position is covered by the applicable statute, as a law-enforcement officer of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions; a correctional officer as defined in § 53.1-1; a jail officer; a regional jail or jail farm superintendent; a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or city sergeant or deputy city sergeant of the City of Richmond; a police chaplain; a member of any fire company or department or emergency medical services agency that has been recognized by an ordinance or a resolution of the governing body of any county, city, or town of the Commonwealth as an integral part of the official safety program of such county, city, or town; a member of any fire company providing fire protection services for facilities of the Virginia National Guard; a member of the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force while such member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty or federal duty under Title 32 of the United States Code; any special agent of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority; any regular or special conservation police officer who receives compensation from a county, city, or town or from the Commonwealth appointed pursuant to the provisions of § 29.1-200; any commissioned forest warden appointed under the provisions of § 10.1-1135; any member or employee of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission granted the power of arrest pursuant to § 28.2-900; any Department of Emergency Management hazardous materials officer; any other employee of the Department of Emergency Management who is performing official duties of the agency, when those duties are related to a major disaster or emergency, as defined in § 44-146.16, that has been or is later declared to exist under the authority of the Governor in accordance with § 44-146.28; any employee of any county, city, or town performing official emergency management or emergency services duties in cooperation with the Department of Emergency Management, when those duties are related to a major disaster or emergency, as defined in § 44-146.16, that has been or is later declared to exist under the authority of the Governor in accordance with § 44-146.28 or a local emergency, as defined in § 44-146.16, declared by a local governing body; any nonfirefighter regional hazardous materials emergency response team member; any conservation officer of the Department of Conservation and Recreation commissioned pursuant to § 10.1-115; or any full-time sworn member of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles appointed pursuant to § 46.2-217.

"Disabled person" means any individual who, has been determined to be mentally or physically incapacitated so as to prevent the further performance of his duties at the time of his disability where such incapacity is likely to be permanent, and whose incapacity occurs in the line of duty as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty, including the presumptions under §§ 27-40.1, 27-40.2, 51.1-813, 65.2-402, and 65.2-402.1 if his position is covered by the applicable statute, in any position listed in the definition of deceased person in this section, has become mentally or physically incapacitated so as to prevent the further performance of duty where such incapacity is likely to be permanent. The term shall also include "Disabled person" does not include any individual who has been determined to be no longer disabled pursuant to subdivision A 2 of § 9.1-404. Disabled person also does not include any individual during any period in which his health insurance coverage in the LODA Health Benefits Plan is suspended pursuant to subdivision C 4 of § 9.1-401. "Disabled person" includes any state employee included in the definition of a deceased person who was disabled on or after January 1, 1966.

"Eligible dependent" for purposes of continued health insurance pursuant to § 9.1-401 means the natural or adopted child or children of a deceased person or disabled person or of a deceased or disabled person's eligible spouse, including any children born as the result of a pregnancy or adopted pursuant to a preadoptive agreement, either of which occurred prior to the time of the employee's death or disability. Eligibility will continue until the end of the year in which the eligible dependent reaches age 26 or when the eligible dependent ceases to be eligible based on the Virginia Administrative Code or administrative guidance as determined by the Department of Human Resource Management.

"Eligible spouse" for purposes of continued health insurance pursuant to § 9.1-401 means the spouse of a deceased person or a disabled person at the time of the death or disability. Eligibility will continue until the eligible spouse dies, ceases to be married to a disabled person, or in the case of the spouse of a deceased person, dies, remarries, or otherwise ceases to be eligible based on the Virginia Administrative Code or administrative guidance as determined by the Department of Human Resource Management.

"Employee" means any person who would be covered or whose spouse, dependents, or beneficiaries would be covered under the benefits of this chapter if the person became a disabled person or a deceased person.

"Employer" means (i) the employer of a person who is a covered employee or (ii) in the case of a volunteer who is a member of any fire company or department or rescue squad described in the definition of "deceased person," the county, city, or town that by ordinance or resolution recognized such fire company or department or rescue squad as an integral part of the official safety program of such locality.

"Fund" means the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund established pursuant to § 9.1-400.1

"Line of duty" means any action the deceased or disabled person was obligated or authorized to perform by rule, regulation, condition of employment or service, or law.

"LODA Health Benefits Plans" means the separate health benefits plans established pursuant to § 9.1-401.

"Nonparticipating employer" means any employer that is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth that elected on or before July 1, 2012, to directly fund the cost of benefits provided under this chapter and not participate in the Fund.

"Participating employer" means any employer that is a state agency or is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth that did not make an election to become a nonparticipating employer.

"VRS" means the Virginia Retirement System.

  • 9.1-400.1. Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund.
  1. There is hereby established a permanent and perpetual fund to be known as the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund, consisting of such moneys as may be appropriated by the General Assembly, contributions or reimbursements from participating and nonparticipating employers, gifts, bequests, endowments, or grants from the United States government or its agencies or instrumentalities, net income from the investment of moneys held in the Fund, and any other available sources of funds, public and private. Any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of a biennium shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest and income earned from the investment of such moneys shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. The moneys in the Fund shall be (i) deemed separate and independent trust funds, (ii) segregated and accounted for separately from all other funds of the Commonwealth, and (iii) administered solely in the interests of the persons who are covered under the benefits provided pursuant to this chapter. Deposits to and assets of the Fund shall not be subject to the claims of creditors.
  2. The Virginia Retirement System shall invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the Fund as provided in § 51.1-124.38 and shall be reimbursed from the Fund for such activities as provided in that section.
  3. The Fund shall be used to provide the benefits under this chapter related to disabled persons, deceased persons, eligible dependents, and eligible spouses on behalf of participating employers and to pay related administrative costs.
  4. Each participating employer shall make annual contributions to the Fund and provide information as determined by VRS. The amount of the contribution for each participating employer shall be determined on a current disbursement basis in accordance with the provisions of this section. If any participating employer fails to remit contributions or other fees or costs associated with the Fund, VRS shall inform the State Comptroller and the affected participating employer of the delinquent amount. In calculating the delinquent amount, VRS may impose an interest rate of one percent per month of delinquency. The State Comptroller shall forthwith transfer such delinquent amount, plus interest, from any moneys otherwise distributable to such participating employer.
  • 9.1-401. Continued health insurance coverage for employees, eligible spouses, and eligible dependents.
  1. The surviving spouse and any dependents of a deceased person Employees, eligible spouses, and eligible dependents shall be afforded continued health insurance coverage as provided in this section, the cost of which shall be paid in full out of the general fund of the state treasury by the nonparticipating employer to the Department of Human Resource Management or from the Fund on behalf of a participating employer, as applicable. If any disabled person is receiving the benefits described in this section and would otherwise qualify for the health insurance credit described in Chapter 14 (§ 51.1-1400 et seq.) of Title 51.1, the amount of such credit shall be deposited into the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund or paid to the nonparticipating employer, as applicable, from the health insurance credit trust fund, in a manner prescribed by VRS.
  2. If the disabled person's disability (i) occurred while in the line of duty as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty or (ii) was subject to the provisions of §§ 27-40.1, 27-40.2, 51.1-813 or § 65.2-402, and arose out of and in the course of his employment, the disabled person, his surviving spouse and any dependents shall be afforded continued health insurance coverage. The cost of such health insurance coverage shall be paid in full out of the general fund of the state treasury.
  3. The continued health insurance coverage provided by this section shall be the same plan of benefits which the deceased or disabled person was entitled to on the last day of his active duty or comparable benefits established as a result of a replacement plan.
  4. For any spouse, continuedhealth insurance provided by this section shall terminate upon such spouse's death or coverage by alternate health insurance.
  5. For dependents, 1. The continued health insurance coverage provided by this section for all disabled persons, eligible spouses, and eligible dependents shall be through separate plans, referred to as the LODA Health Benefits Plans (the Plans), administered by the Department of Human Resource Management. The Plans shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and shall be modeled upon state employee health benefits program plans. Funding of the Plans' reserves and contingency shall be provided through a line of credit, the amount of which shall be based on an actuarially determined estimate of liabilities. The Department of Human Resource Management shall be reimbursed for health insurance premiums and all reasonable costs incurred and associated, directly and indirectly, in performing the duties pursuant to this section (i) from the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund for costs related to disabled persons, deceased persons, eligible dependents, and eligible spouses on behalf of participating employers and (ii) from a nonparticipating employer for premiums and costs related to disabled persons, deceased persons, eligible dependents, and eligible spouses for which the nonparticipating employer is responsible. If any nonparticipating employer fails to remit such premiums and costs, the Department of Human Resource Management shall inform the State Comptroller and the affected nonparticipating employer of the delinquent amount. In calculating the delinquent amount, the Department of Human Resource Management may impose an interest rate of one percent per month of delinquency. The State Comptroller shall forthwith transfer such delinquent amount, plus interest, from any moneys otherwise distributable to such nonparticipating employer.
  6. In the event that temporary health care insurance coverage is needed for employees, eligible spouses, and eligible dependents during the period of transition into the LODA Health Benefits Plans, the Department of Human Resource Management is authorized to acquire and provide temporary transitional health insurance coverage. The type and source of the transitional health plans shall be within the sole discretion of the Department of Human Resource Management. Transitional coverage for eligible dependents shall comply with the eligibility criteria of the transitional plans until enrollment in the LODA Health Benefits Plan can be completed.
  7. 1. a. Except as provided in subdivision 2 and any other law, continued health insurance provided by this section coverage in any LODA Health Benefits Plans shall not be provided to any person terminate upon such dependent's death, marriage, coverage by alternate health insurance or twenty-first birthday (i) whose coverage under the Plan is based on a deceased person's death or a disabled person's disability occurring on or after July 1, 2017 and (ii) who is eligible for Medicare due to age.
  8. Coverage in the LODA Health Benefits Plans shall also cease for any person upon his death.

Continued health care insurance shall be provided beyond the dependent's twenty-first birthday if the dependent is a full-time college student and shall continue until such time as the dependent ceases to be a full-time student or reaches his twenty-fifth birthday, whichever occurs first. Continued health care insurance shall also be provided beyond the dependent's twenty-first birthday if the dependent is mentally or physically disabled, and such coverage shall continue until three months following the cessation of the disability.

  1. For any disabled person, continued health insurance provided by this section
  2. The provisions of subdivision 1 a shall not apply to any disabled person who is eligible for Medicare due to disability under Social Security Disability Insurance or a Railroad Retirement Board Disability Annuity. The Department of Human Resource Management may provide such disabled person coverage under a LODA Health Benefits Plan that is separate from the plan for other persons.
  3. Continued health insurance under this section shall automatically also terminate upon the disabled person's death, recovery or return to full duty in any position listed in the definition of deceased person in § 9.1-400. Such disabled person shall promptly notify the participating or nonparticipating employer, VRS, and the Department of Human Resource Management upon his return to work.
  4. Such continued health insurance shall be suspended for the year following a calendar year in which the disabled person has earned income in an amount equal to or greater than the salary of the position held by the disabled person at the time of disability, indexed annually based upon the annual increases in the United States Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Such suspension shall cease the year following a calendar year in which the disabled person has not earned such amount of income. The disabled person shall notify the participating or nonparticipating employer, VRS, and the Department of Human Resource Management no later than January 15 of the year following any year in which he earns income of such amount, and notify the participating or nonparticipating employer, VRS, and the Department of Human Resource Management when he no longer is earning such amount. Upon request, a disabled person shall provide VRS and the Department of Human Resource Management with documentation of earned income.
  • 9.1-402. Payments to beneficiaries of certain deceased law-enforcement officers, firefighters, etc., and retirees.
  1. The beneficiary of a deceased person whose death occurred on or before December 31, 2005, while in the line of duty as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty shall be entitled to receive the sum of $75,000, which shall be payable out of the general fund of the state treasury, paid by the nonparticipating employer or from the Fund on behalf of a participating employer, as applicable, in gratitude for and in recognition of his sacrifice on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth.
  2. The beneficiary of a deceased person whose death occurred on or after January 1, 2006, while in the line of duty as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty shall be entitled to receive the sum of $100,000, which shall be payable out of the general fund of the state treasury paid by the nonparticipating employer or from the Fund on behalf of a participating employer, as applicable, in gratitude for and in recognition of his sacrifice on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth.
  3. Subject to the provisions of §§ § 27-40.1, 27-40.2, 51.1-813, or § 65.2-402, if the deceased person's death (i) arose out of and in the course of his employment or (ii) was within five years from his date of retirement, his beneficiary shall be entitled to receive the sum of $25,000, which shall be payable out of the general fund of the state treasury paid by the nonparticipating employer or from the Fund on behalf of a participating employer, as applicable.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that expeditious payments for burial expenses be made for deceased persons whose death is determined to be a direct and proximate result of their performance in the line of duty as defined by the Line of Duty Act. The State Comptroller is hereby authorized to release, Upon the approval of VRS, at the request of the family of a person who may be subject to the line of duty death benefits, payments shall be made to a funeral service provider for burial and transportation costs by the nonparticipating employer or from the Fund on behalf of a participating employer, as applicable. These payments would be advanced from the death benefit that would be due to the beneficiary of the deceased person if it is determined that the person qualifies for line of duty coverage. Expenses advanced under this provision shall not exceed the coverage amounts outlined in § 65.2-512. In the event a determination is made that the death is not subject to the line of duty benefits, the Virginia Retirement System VRS or other Virginia governmental retirement fund to of which the deceased is a member will deduct from benefit payments otherwise due to be paid to the beneficiaries of the deceased payments previously paid by the State Comptroller for burial and related transportation expenses and return such funds to the State Comptroller nonparticipating employer or to the Fund on behalf of a participating employer, as applicable. The State Comptroller Virginia Retirement System shall have the right to file a claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission against any employer to recover burial and related transportation expenses advanced under this provision.

  • 9.1-403. Claim for payment; costs.
  1. Every beneficiary, disabled person or his spouse, or dependent of a deceased or disabled person shall present his claim to the chief officer, or his designee, of the appropriate division or department that last employed the deceased or disabled person employer for which the disabled or deceased person last worked on forms to be provided by the State Comptroller's office VRS. Upon receipt of a claim, the chief officer or his designee shall forward the claim to VRS within seven days. The Virginia Retirement System shall determine eligibility for benefits under this chapter. The Virginia Retirement System may request assistance in obtaining information necessary to make an eligibility determination from the Department of State Police. The Department of State Police shall take action to conduct the investigation as expeditiously as possible. The Department of State Police shall be reimbursed from the Fund or the nonparticipating employer, as applicable, for the cost of searching for and obtaining information requested by VRS. The Virginia Retirement System shall be reimbursed for the reasonable costs incurred for making eligibility determinations by nonparticipating employers or from the Fund on behalf of participating employers, as applicable. If any nonparticipating employer fails to reimburse VRS for reasonable costs incurred in making an eligibility determination, VRS shall inform the State Comptroller and the affected nonparticipating employer of the delinquent amount. In calculating the delinquent amount, VRS may impose an interest rate of one percent per month of delinquency. The State Comptroller shall forthwith transfer such delinquent amount, plus interest, from any moneys otherwise distributable to such nonparticipating employer.
  2. In the case of a police department or a sheriff's office that is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, the chief officer, or his designee, of such department or office shall investigate and report upon the circumstances surrounding the deceased or disabled person and report his findings to the Comptroller within 10 business days after completion of the investigation. The Comptroller, the Attorney General, or any such chief officer, in his discretion, may submit a request to the Superintendent of the Department of State Police to perform the investigation pursuant to subsection C.
  3. In all other cases, upon receipt of the claim the chief officer, or his designee, of the appropriate division or department shall submit a request to the Superintendent of the Department of the State Police, who shall investigate and report upon the circumstances surrounding the deceased or disabled person, calling upon the additional information and services of any other appropriate agents or agencies of the Commonwealth. The Superintendent, or his designee, shall report his findings to the Comptroller within 10 business days after completion of the investigation. The Department of State Police shall take action to conduct the investigation as expeditiously as possible. The Department shall be reimbursed for the cost of investigations conducted pursuant to this section from the appropriate employer that last employed the deceased or disabled employee.
  4. 1. Within 10 business days of being notified by an employee, or an employee's representative, that such employee is permanently and totally disabled due to a work-related injury suffered in the line of duty, the agency or department employing the disabled person employee shall provide him with information about the continued health insurance coverage provided under this act chapter and the process for initiating a claim. The employer shall assist in filing a claim, unless such assistance is waived by the employee or the employee's representative.
  5. Within 10 business days of having knowledge that a deceased person's surviving spouse, dependents, or beneficiaries may be entitled to benefits under this chapter, the employer for which the deceased person last worked shall provide the surviving spouse, dependents, or beneficiaries, as applicable, with information about the benefits provided under this chapter and the process for initiating a claim. The employer shall assist in filing a claim, unless such assistance is waived by the surviving spouse, dependents, or beneficiaries.
  6. Within 30 days of receiving a claim pursuant to subsection A, an employer may submit to VRS any evidence that could assist in determining the eligibility of a claim. However, when the claim involves a presumption under § 65.2-402 or 65.2-402.1, VRS shall provide an employer additional time to submit evidence as is necessary not to exceed nine months from the date the employer received a claim pursuant to subsection A. Any such evidence submitted by the employer shall be included in the agency record for the claim.
  • 9.1-404. Order of the Virginia Retirement System.
  1. 1. The Virginia Retirement System shall make an eligibility determination within 45 days of receiving all necessary information for determining eligibility for a claim filed under § 9.1-403. If it appears to the Comptroller that the requirements of either subsection A or B of § 9.1-402 have been satisfied, he shall issue his warrant in the appropriate amount for payment out of the general fund of the state treasury to the surviving spouse or to such persons and subject to such conditions as may be proper in his administrative discretion, and in the event there is no beneficiary, the Comptroller shall issue the payment to the estate of the deceased person. The Comptroller shall issue a decision, and payment, if appropriate, shall be made no later than forty-five days following receipt of the report required under § 9.1-403 benefits under this chapter are due, VRS shall notify the nonparticipating employer, which shall provide the benefits within 15 days of such notice, or VRS shall pay the benefits from the Fund on behalf of the participating employer within 15 days of the determination, as applicable. The payments shall be retroactive to the first date that the disabled person was no longer eligible for health insurance coverage subsidized by his employer.
  2. Two years after an individual has been determined to be a disabled person, VRS may require the disabled person to renew the determination through a process established by VRS. If a disabled person refuses to submit to the determination renewal process described in this subdivision, then benefits under this chapter shall cease for the individual, any eligible dependents, and an eligible spouse until the individual complies. If such individual does not comply within six months from the date of the initial request for a renewed determination, then benefits under this chapter shall permanently cease for the individual, any eligible dependents, and an eligible spouse. If VRS issues a renewed determination that an individual is no longer a disabled person, then benefits under this chapter shall permanently cease for the individual, any eligible dependents, and an eligible spouse. If VRS issues a renewed determination that an individual remains a disabled person, then VRS may require the disabled person to renew the determination five years after such renewed determination through a process established by VRS. The Virginia Retirement System may require the disabled person to renew the determination at any time if VRS has information indicating that the person may no longer be disabled.
  3. If it appears to the Comptroller that the requirements of either subsection A or B of § 9.1-401 have been satisfied, he shall issue his warrants in the appropriate amounts for payment from the general fund of the state treasury to ensure continued health care coverage for the persons designated under § 9.1-401. The Comptroller shall issue a decision, and payments, if appropriate, shall commence no later than forty-five days following receipt of the report required under § 9.1-403. The payments shall be retroactive to the first date that the disability existed The Virginia Retirement System shall be reimbursed for all reasonable costs incurred and associated, directly and indirectly, in performing the duties pursuant to this chapter (i) from the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund for costs related to disabled persons, deceased persons, eligible dependents, and eligible spouses on behalf of participating employers and (ii) from a nonparticipating employer for premiums and costs related to disabled persons, deceased persons, eligible dependents, and eligible spouses for which the nonparticipating employer is responsible.
  4. The Virginia Retirement System may develop policies and procedures necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
  • 9.1-405. Appeal from decision of Virginia Retirement System.

Any beneficiary, disabled person or his eligible spouse or eligible dependent of a deceased or disabled person aggrieved by the decision of the Comptroller shall present a petition to the court in which the will of the deceased person is probated or in which the personal representative of the deceased person is qualified or might qualify or in the jurisdiction in which the disabled person resides VRS may appeal the decision through a process established by VRS. Any such process may utilize a medical board as described in § 51.1-124.23. An employer may submit information related to the claim and may participate in any informal fact-finding proceeding that is included in such process established by VRS. Upon completion of the appeal process, the final determination issued by VRS shall constitute a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001. Any beneficiary, disabled person, or eligible spouse or eligible dependent of a deceased or disabled person aggrieved by, and claiming the unlawfulness of, such case decision shall have a right to seek judicial review thereof in accordance with Article 5 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act. The employer shall not have a right to seek such judicial review.

The Commonwealth shall be represented in such proceeding by the Attorney General or his designee. The court shall proceed as chancellor without a jury. If it appears to the court that the requirements of this chapter have been satisfied, the judge shall enter an order to that effect. The order shall also direct the Comptroller to issue his warrant in the appropriate amount for the payment out of the general fund of the state treasury to such persons and subject to such conditions as may be proper. If, in the case of a deceased person, there is no beneficiary, the judge shall direct such payment as is due under § 9.1-402 to the estate of the deceased person.

Any law-enforcement or public safety officer entitled to benefits under this Chapter chapter shall receive training within 30 days of his employment, and again every two years thereafter, concerning the benefits available to himself or his beneficiary in case of disability or death in the line of duty. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall develop training information to be distributed to agencies and localities with employees subject to this chapter. The agency or locality shall be responsible for providing the training. Such training shall not count towards toward in-service training requirements for law-enforcement officers pursuant to § 9.1-102 and shall include, but not be limited to, the general rules for intestate succession described in § 64.2-200 that may be applicable to the distribution of benefits provided under § 9.1-402.

  • 51.1-124.38. Investment of assets of the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund.
  1. In addition to such other powers as shall be vested in the Board, the Board shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund (the Fund) established pursuant to § 9.1-400.1. The Board shall maintain a separate accounting for the assets of the Fund.
  2. The Board shall invest the assets of the Fund with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The Board shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.
  3. No officer, director, or member of the Board or of any advisory committee of the Retirement System or any of its tax-exempt subsidiary corporations whose actions are within the standard of care in subsection B shall be held personally liable for losses suffered by the Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this section.
  4. The provisions of §§ 51.1-124.32 through 51.1-124.35 shall apply to the Board's activities with respect to moneys in the Fund.
  5. The Board may assess the Fund a reasonable administrative fee for its services.
  • 58.1-3. (Effective until July 1, 2018) Secrecy of information; penalties.
  1. Except in accordance with a proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, the Tax Commissioner or agent, clerk, commissioner of the revenue, treasurer, or any other state or local tax or revenue officer or employee, or any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to § 58.1-512 or 58.1-2712.2, or any former officer or employee of any of the aforementioned offices shall not divulge any information acquired by him in the performance of his duties with respect to the transactions, property, including personal property, income or business of any person, firm or corporation. Such prohibition specifically includes any copy of a federal return or federal return information required by Virginia law to be attached to or included in the Virginia return. This prohibition shall apply to any reports, returns, financial documents or other information filed with the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 3.2-4204 et seq.) of Chapter 42 of Title 3.2. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable, however, to:
  2. Matters required by law to be entered on any public assessment roll or book;
  3. Acts performed or words spoken, published, or shared with another agency or subdivision of the Commonwealth in the line of duty under state law;
  4. Inquiries and investigations to obtain information as to the process of real estate assessments by a duly constituted committee of the General Assembly, or when such inquiry or investigation is relevant to its study, provided that any such information obtained shall be privileged;
  5. The sales price, date of construction, physical dimensions or characteristics of real property, or any information required for building permits;
  6. Copies of or information contained in an estate's probate tax return, filed with the clerk of court pursuant to § 58.1-1714, when requested by a beneficiary of the estate or an heir at law of the decedent;
  7. Information regarding nonprofit entities exempt from sales and use tax under § 58.1-609.11, when requested by the General Assembly or any duly constituted committee of the General Assembly;
  8. Reports or information filed with the Attorney General by a Stamping Agent pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 3.2-4204 et seq.), when such reports or information are provided by the Attorney General to a tobacco products manufacturer who is required to establish a qualified escrow fund pursuant to § 3.2-4201 and are limited to the brand families of that manufacturer as listed in the Tobacco Directory established pursuant to § 3.2-4206 and are limited to the current or previous two calendar years or in any year in which the Attorney General receives Stamping Agent information that potentially alters the required escrow deposit of the manufacturer. The information shall only be provided in the following manner: the manufacturer may make a written request, on a quarterly or yearly basis or when the manufacturer is notified by the Attorney General of a potential change in the amount of a required escrow deposit, to the Attorney General for a list of the Stamping Agents who reported stamping or selling its products and the amount reported. The Attorney General shall provide the list within 15 days of receipt of the request. If the manufacturer wishes to obtain actual copies of the reports the Stamping Agents filed with the Attorney General, it must first request them from the Stamping Agents pursuant to subsection C of § 3.2-4209. If the manufacturer does not receive the reports pursuant to subsection C of § 3.2-4209, the manufacturer may make a written request to the Attorney General, including a copy of the prior written request to the Stamping Agent and any response received, for copies of any reports not received. The Attorney General shall provide copies of the reports within 45 days of receipt of the request.
  9. 1. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular reports or returns and the items thereof or the publication of delinquent lists showing the names of taxpayers who are currently delinquent, together with any relevant information which in the opinion of the Department may assist in the collection of such delinquent taxes. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or other law, the Department, upon request by the General Assembly or any duly constituted committee of the General Assembly, shall disclose the total aggregate amount of an income tax deduction or credit taken by all taxpayers, regardless of (i) how few taxpayers took the deduction or credit or (ii) any other circumstances. This section shall not be construed to prohibit a local tax official from disclosing whether a person, firm or corporation is licensed to do business in that locality and divulging, upon written request, the name and address of any person, firm or corporation transacting business under a fictitious name. Additionally, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner of revenue is authorized to provide, upon written request stating the reason for such request, the Tax Commissioner with information obtained from local tax returns and other information pertaining to the income, sales and property of any person, firm or corporation licensed to do business in that locality.
  10. This section shall not prohibit the Department from disclosing whether a person, firm, or corporation is registered as a retail sales and use tax dealer pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 58.1-600 et seq.) or whether a certificate of registration number relating to such tax is valid. Additionally, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department is hereby authorized to make available the names and certificate of registration numbers of dealers who are currently registered for retail sales and use tax.
  11. This section shall not prohibit the Department from disclosing information to nongovernmental entities with which the Department has entered into a contract to provide services that assist it in the administration of refund processing or other services related to its administration of taxes.
  12. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or B or any other provision of this title, the Tax Commissioner is authorized to: (i) divulge tax information to any commissioner of the revenue, director of finance or other similar collector of county, city or town taxes who, for the performance of his official duties, requests the same in writing setting forth the reasons for such request; (ii) provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, upon written request, information on the amount of income, filing status, number and type of dependents, and whether a federal earned income tax credit has been claimed as reported by persons on their state income tax returns who have applied for public assistance or social services benefits as defined in § 63.2-100; (iii) provide to the chief executive officer of the designated student loan guarantor for the Commonwealth of Virginia, upon written request, the names and home addresses of those persons identified by the designated guarantor as having delinquent loans guaranteed by the designated guarantor; (iv) provide current address information upon request to state agencies and institutions for their confidential use in facilitating the collection of accounts receivable, and to the clerk of a circuit or district court for their confidential use in facilitating the collection of fines, penalties and costs imposed in a proceeding in that court; (v) provide to the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission, after entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of unemployment taxes and overpaid benefits; (vi) provide to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of state and local taxes and the administration of the alcoholic beverage control laws; (vii) provide to the Director of the Virginia Lottery such tax information as may be necessary to identify those lottery ticket retailers who owe delinquent taxes; (viii) provide to the Department of the Treasury for its confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the location of owners and holders of unclaimed property, as defined in § 55-210.2; (ix) provide to the State Corporation Commission, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of taxes and fees administered by the Commission; (x) provide to the Executive Director of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission for his confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of the motor vehicle fuel sales tax; (xi) provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services such tax information as may be necessary to identify those applicants for registration as a supplier of charitable gaming supplies who have not filed required returns or who owe delinquent taxes; (xii) provide to the Department of Housing and Community Development for its confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the administration of the remaining effective provisions of the Enterprise Zone Act (§ 59.1-270 et seq.), and the Enterprise Zone Grant Program (§ 59.1-538 et seq.); (xiii) provide current name and address information to private collectors entering into a written agreement with the Tax Commissioner, for their confidential use when acting on behalf of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions; however, the Tax Commissioner is not authorized to provide such information to a private collector who has used or disseminated in an unauthorized or prohibited manner any such information previously provided to such collector; (xiv) provide current name and address information as to the identity of the wholesale or retail dealer that affixed a tax stamp to a package of cigarettes to any person who manufactures or sells at retail or wholesale cigarettes and who may bring an action for injunction or other equitable relief for violation of Chapter 10.1, Enforcement of Illegal Sale or Distribution of Cigarettes Act; (xv) provide to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of unpaid wages under § 40.1-29; (xvi) provide to the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to identify persons receiving workers' compensation indemnity benefits who have failed to report earnings as required by § 65.2-712; (xvii) provide to any commissioner of the revenue, director of finance, or any other officer of any county, city, or town performing any or all of the duties of a commissioner of the revenue and to any dealer registered for the collection of the Communications Sales and Use Tax, a list of the names, business addresses, and dates of registration of all dealers registered for such tax; (xviii) provide to the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for his confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of the motor vehicle fuel sales tax; (xix) provide to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services the name and address of the taxpayer businesses licensed by the Commonwealth that identify themselves as subject to regulation by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to § 3.2-5130; and (xx) provide to the developer or the economic development authority of a tourism project authorized by § 58.1-3851.1, upon entering into a written agreement, tax information facilitating the repayment of gap financing; and (xxi) provide to the Virginia Retirement System and the Department of Human Resource Management, after entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the enforcement of subdivision C 4 of § 9.1-401. The Tax Commissioner is further authorized to enter into written agreements with duly constituted tax officials of other states and of the United States for the inspection of tax returns, the making of audits, and the exchange of information relating to any tax administered by the Department of Taxation. Any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to this section shall be subject to the prohibitions and penalties prescribed herein as though he were a tax official.
  13. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or B or any other provision of this title, the commissioner of revenue or other assessing official is authorized to (i) provide, upon written request stating the reason for such request, the chief executive officer of any county or city with information furnished to the commissioner of revenue by the Tax Commissioner relating to the name and address of any dealer located within the county or city who paid sales and use tax, for the purpose of verifying the local sales and use tax revenues payable to the county or city; (ii) provide to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for its confidential use the name, address, and amount of gross receipts of any person, firm or entity subject to a criminal investigation of an unlawful practice of a profession or occupation administered by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, only after the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation exhausts all other means of obtaining such information; and (iii) provide to any representative of a condominium unit owners' association, property owners' association or real estate cooperative association, or to the owner of property governed by any such association, the names and addresses of parties having a security interest in real property governed by any such association; however, such information shall be released only upon written request stating the reason for such request, which reason shall be limited to proposing or opposing changes to the governing documents of the association, and any information received by any person under this subsection shall be used only for the reason stated in the written request. The treasurer or other local assessing official may require any person requesting information pursuant to clause (iii) of this subsection to pay the reasonable cost of providing such information. Any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the prohibitions and penalties prescribed herein as though he were a tax official.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or B or any other provisions of this title, the treasurer or other collector of taxes for a county, city or town is authorized to provide information relating to any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer obtained by such treasurer or collector in the course of performing his duties to the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official for such jurisdiction for use by such commissioner or other official in performing assessments.

This section shall not be construed to prohibit a local tax official from imprinting or displaying on a motor vehicle local license decal the year, make, and model and any other legal identification information about the particular motor vehicle for which that local license decal is assigned.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, state agencies and any other administrative or regulatory unit of state government shall divulge to the Tax Commissioner or his authorized agent, upon written request, the name, address, and social security number of a taxpayer, necessary for the performance of the Commissioner's official duties regarding the administration and enforcement of laws within the jurisdiction of the Department of Taxation. The receipt of information by the Tax Commissioner or his agent which may be deemed taxpayer information shall not relieve the Commissioner of the obligations under this section.
  2. Additionally, it shall be unlawful for any person to disseminate, publish, or cause to be published any confidential tax document which he knows or has reason to know is a confidential tax document. A confidential tax document is any correspondence, document, or tax return that is prohibited from being divulged by subsection A, B, C, or D and includes any document containing information on the transactions, property, income, or business of any person, firm, or corporation that is required to be filed with any state official by § 58.1-512. This prohibition shall not apply if such confidential tax document has been divulged or disseminated pursuant to a provision of law authorizing disclosure. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • 58.1-3. (Effective July 1, 2018) Secrecy of information; penalties.
  1. Except in accordance with a proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, the Tax Commissioner or agent, clerk, commissioner of the revenue, treasurer, or any other state or local tax or revenue officer or employee, or any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to § 58.1-512 or 58.1-2712.2, or any former officer or employee of any of the aforementioned offices shall not divulge any information acquired by him in the performance of his duties with respect to the transactions, property, including personal property, income or business of any person, firm or corporation. Such prohibition specifically includes any copy of a federal return or federal return information required by Virginia law to be attached to or included in the Virginia return. This prohibition shall apply to any reports, returns, financial documents or other information filed with the Attorney General pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 3.2-4204 et seq.) of Chapter 42 of Title 3.2. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable, however, to:
  2. Matters required by law to be entered on any public assessment roll or book;
  3. Acts performed or words spoken, published, or shared with another agency or subdivision of the Commonwealth in the line of duty under state law;
  4. Inquiries and investigations to obtain information as to the process of real estate assessments by a duly constituted committee of the General Assembly, or when such inquiry or investigation is relevant to its study, provided that any such information obtained shall be privileged;
  5. The sales price, date of construction, physical dimensions or characteristics of real property, or any information required for building permits;
  6. Copies of or information contained in an estate's probate tax return, filed with the clerk of court pursuant to § 58.1-1714, when requested by a beneficiary of the estate or an heir at law of the decedent;
  7. Information regarding nonprofit entities exempt from sales and use tax under § 58.1-609.11, when requested by the General Assembly or any duly constituted committee of the General Assembly;
  8. Reports or information filed with the Attorney General by a Stamping Agent pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 (§ 3.2-4204 et seq.), when such reports or information are provided by the Attorney General to a tobacco products manufacturer who is required to establish a qualified escrow fund pursuant to § 3.2-4201 and are limited to the brand families of that manufacturer as listed in the Tobacco Directory established pursuant to § 3.2-4206 and are limited to the current or previous two calendar years or in any year in which the Attorney General receives Stamping Agent information that potentially alters the required escrow deposit of the manufacturer. The information shall only be provided in the following manner: the manufacturer may make a written request, on a quarterly or yearly basis or when the manufacturer is notified by the Attorney General of a potential change in the amount of a required escrow deposit, to the Attorney General for a list of the Stamping Agents who reported stamping or selling its products and the amount reported. The Attorney General shall provide the list within 15 days of receipt of the request. If the manufacturer wishes to obtain actual copies of the reports the Stamping Agents filed with the Attorney General, it must first request them from the Stamping Agents pursuant to subsection C of § 3.2-4209. If the manufacturer does not receive the reports pursuant to subsection C of § 3.2-4209, the manufacturer may make a written request to the Attorney General, including a copy of the prior written request to the Stamping Agent and any response received, for copies of any reports not received. The Attorney General shall provide copies of the reports within 45 days of receipt of the request.
  9. 1. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular reports or returns and the items thereof or the publication of delinquent lists showing the names of taxpayers who are currently delinquent, together with any relevant information which in the opinion of the Department may assist in the collection of such delinquent taxes. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or other law, the Department, upon request by the General Assembly or any duly constituted committee of the General Assembly, shall disclose the total aggregate amount of an income tax deduction or credit taken by all taxpayers, regardless of (i) how few taxpayers took the deduction or credit or (ii) any other circumstances. This section shall not be construed to prohibit a local tax official from disclosing whether a person, firm or corporation is licensed to do business in that locality and divulging, upon written request, the name and address of any person, firm or corporation transacting business under a fictitious name. Additionally, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner of revenue is authorized to provide, upon written request stating the reason for such request, the Tax Commissioner with information obtained from local tax returns and other information pertaining to the income, sales and property of any person, firm or corporation licensed to do business in that locality.
  10. This section shall not prohibit the Department from disclosing whether a person, firm, or corporation is registered as a retail sales and use tax dealer pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 58.1-600 et seq.) or whether a certificate of registration number relating to such tax is valid. Additionally, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department is hereby authorized to make available the names and certificate of registration numbers of dealers who are currently registered for retail sales and use tax.
  11. This section shall not prohibit the Department from disclosing information to nongovernmental entities with which the Department has entered into a contract to provide services that assist it in the administration of refund processing or other services related to its administration of taxes.
  12. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or B or any other provision of this title, the Tax Commissioner is authorized to: (i) divulge tax information to any commissioner of the revenue, director of finance or other similar collector of county, city or town taxes who, for the performance of his official duties, requests the same in writing setting forth the reasons for such request; (ii) provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, upon written request, information on the amount of income, filing status, number and type of dependents, and whether a federal earned income tax credit has been claimed as reported by persons on their state income tax returns who have applied for public assistance or social services benefits as defined in § 63.2-100; (iii) provide to the chief executive officer of the designated student loan guarantor for the Commonwealth of Virginia, upon written request, the names and home addresses of those persons identified by the designated guarantor as having delinquent loans guaranteed by the designated guarantor; (iv) provide current address information upon request to state agencies and institutions for their confidential use in facilitating the collection of accounts receivable, and to the clerk of a circuit or district court for their confidential use in facilitating the collection of fines, penalties and costs imposed in a proceeding in that court; (v) provide to the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission, after entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of unemployment taxes and overpaid benefits; (vi) provide to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of state and local taxes and the administration of the alcoholic beverage control laws; (vii) provide to the Director of the Virginia Lottery such tax information as may be necessary to identify those lottery ticket retailers who owe delinquent taxes; (viii) provide to the Department of the Treasury for its confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the location of owners and holders of unclaimed property, as defined in § 55-210.2; (ix) provide to the State Corporation Commission, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of taxes and fees administered by the Commission; (x) provide to the Executive Director of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission for his confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of the motor vehicle fuel sales tax; (xi) provide to the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services such tax information as may be necessary to identify those applicants for registration as a supplier of charitable gaming supplies who have not filed required returns or who owe delinquent taxes; (xii) provide to the Department of Housing and Community Development for its confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the administration of the remaining effective provisions of the Enterprise Zone Act (§ 59.1-270 et seq.), and the Enterprise Zone Grant Program (§ 59.1-538 et seq.); (xiii) provide current name and address information to private collectors entering into a written agreement with the Tax Commissioner, for their confidential use when acting on behalf of the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions; however, the Tax Commissioner is not authorized to provide such information to a private collector who has used or disseminated in an unauthorized or prohibited manner any such information previously provided to such collector; (xiv) provide current name and address information as to the identity of the wholesale or retail dealer that affixed a tax stamp to a package of cigarettes to any person who manufactures or sells at retail or wholesale cigarettes and who may bring an action for injunction or other equitable relief for violation of Chapter 10.1, Enforcement of Illegal Sale or Distribution of Cigarettes Act; (xv) provide to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of unpaid wages under § 40.1-29; (xvi) provide to the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management, upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to identify persons receiving workers' compensation indemnity benefits who have failed to report earnings as required by § 65.2-712; (xvii) provide to any commissioner of the revenue, director of finance, or any other officer of any county, city, or town performing any or all of the duties of a commissioner of the revenue and to any dealer registered for the collection of the Communications Sales and Use Tax, a list of the names, business addresses, and dates of registration of all dealers registered for such tax; (xviii) provide to the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for his confidential use such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the collection of the motor vehicle fuel sales tax; (xix) provide to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services the name and address of the taxpayer businesses licensed by the Commonwealth that identify themselves as subject to regulation by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to § 3.2-5130; and (xx) provide to the developer or the economic development authority of a tourism project authorized by § 58.1-3851.1, upon entering into a written agreement, tax information facilitating the repayment of gap financing; and (xxi) provide to the Virginia Retirement System and the Department of Human Resource Management, after entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the enforcement of subdivision C 4 of § 9.1-401. The Tax Commissioner is further authorized to enter into written agreements with duly constituted tax officials of other states and of the United States for the inspection of tax returns, the making of audits, and the exchange of information relating to any tax administered by the Department of Taxation. Any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to this section shall be subject to the prohibitions and penalties prescribed herein as though he were a tax official.
  13. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or B or any other provision of this title, the commissioner of revenue or other assessing official is authorized to (i) provide, upon written request stating the reason for such request, the chief executive officer of any county or city with information furnished to the commissioner of revenue by the Tax Commissioner relating to the name and address of any dealer located within the county or city who paid sales and use tax, for the purpose of verifying the local sales and use tax revenues payable to the county or city; (ii) provide to the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for its confidential use the name, address, and amount of gross receipts of any person, firm or entity subject to a criminal investigation of an unlawful practice of a profession or occupation administered by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, only after the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation exhausts all other means of obtaining such information; and (iii) provide to any representative of a condominium unit owners' association, property owners' association or real estate cooperative association, or to the owner of property governed by any such association, the names and addresses of parties having a security interest in real property governed by any such association; however, such information shall be released only upon written request stating the reason for such request, which reason shall be limited to proposing or opposing changes to the governing documents of the association, and any information received by any person under this subsection shall be used only for the reason stated in the written request. The treasurer or other local assessing official may require any person requesting information pursuant to clause (iii) of this subsection to pay the reasonable cost of providing such information. Any person to whom tax information is divulged pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the prohibitions and penalties prescribed herein as though he were a tax official.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A or B or any other provisions of this title, the treasurer or other collector of taxes for a county, city or town is authorized to provide information relating to any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer obtained by such treasurer or collector in the course of performing his duties to the commissioner of the revenue or other assessing official for such jurisdiction for use by such commissioner or other official in performing assessments.

This section shall not be construed to prohibit a local tax official from imprinting or displaying on a motor vehicle local license decal the year, make, and model and any other legal identification information about the particular motor vehicle for which that local license decal is assigned.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, state agencies and any other administrative or regulatory unit of state government shall divulge to the Tax Commissioner or his authorized agent, upon written request, the name, address, and social security number of a taxpayer, necessary for the performance of the Commissioner's official duties regarding the administration and enforcement of laws within the jurisdiction of the Department of Taxation. The receipt of information by the Tax Commissioner or his agent which may be deemed taxpayer information shall not relieve the Commissioner of the obligations under this section.
  2. Additionally, it shall be unlawful for any person to disseminate, publish, or cause to be published any confidential tax document which he knows or has reason to know is a confidential tax document. A confidential tax document is any correspondence, document, or tax return that is prohibited from being divulged by subsection A, B, C, or D and includes any document containing information on the transactions, property, income, or business of any person, firm, or corporation that is required to be filed with any state official by § 58.1-512. This prohibition shall not apply if such confidential tax document has been divulged or disseminated pursuant to a provision of law authorizing disclosure. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  3. That § 9.1-406 of the Code of Virginia is repealed.
  4. That any person who holds a position listed in the definition of "deceased person" under § 9.1-400 of the Code of Virginia who is temporarily disabled in the direct line of duty as defined in § 9.1-400 of the Code of Virginia and who is required to have a state certification for purposes of maintaining his employment shall not have such certification lapse during such period of temporary disability, not to exceed two years. State agencies involved in such recertification, including but not limited to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Criminal Justice Services, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, and the Virginia Department of Health, may develop and promulgate regulations to carry out the provisions of this act with input from persons holding the positions listed in the definition of "deceased person" or organizations that represent them. Certifying state agencies may suspend a person's certification when, but for the provisions of this act, it would otherwise lapse. Certifying state agencies shall provide a reasonable time frame for a person covered under the provisions of this act who wishes to return to work to become recertified.
  5. That each nonparticipating employer shall pay its pro rata share of estimated implementation costs to the Virginia Retirement System and the Department of Human Resource Management in an amount and manner and on such date as may be determined by the Virginia Retirement System and the Department of Human Resource Management, respectively.
  6. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on July 1, 2017, except the provisions of the fourth enactment of this act, which shall become effective on July 1, 2016.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before April 11, 2016

 

16101303D

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 123

Offered January 13, 2016

Prefiled January 12, 2016

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia by adding in Article X a section numbered 6-B, relating to real property tax exemptions.

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Patron-- Hugo

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Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

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WHEREAS, a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Virginia, hereinafter set forth, was agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses of the General Assembly at the regular session of 2015 and referred to this, the next regular session held after the 2015 general election of members of the House of Delegates, as required by the Constitution of Virginia; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the following amendment to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby is, proposed in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:

Amend the Constitution of Virginia by adding in Article X a section numbered 6-B as follows:

ARTICLE X

TAXATION AND FINANCE

Section 6-B. Property tax exemptions for spouses of certain emergency services providers.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6, the General Assembly by general law, and within the restrictions and conditions prescribed therein, may provide for a local option to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, who occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence. The exemption under this section shall cease if the surviving spouse remarries and shall not be claimed thereafter. This exemption applies regardless of whether the spouse was killed in the line of duty prior to the effective date of this section, but the exemption shall not be applicable for any period of time prior to the effective date. This exemption applies to the surviving spouse's principal place of residence without any restriction on the spouse's moving to a different principal place of residence and without any requirement that the spouse reside in the Commonwealth at the time of death of the law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel.

A Constitutional Amendment which will be on the November 8, 2016 Election Ballot

 

 

VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER

An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 32.1 a chapter numbered 18, consisting of a section numbered 32.1-371, relating to the Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact.

[S 233]

Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 32.1 a chapter numbered 18, consisting of a section numbered 32.1-371, as follows:

CHAPTER 18.

RECOGNITION OF EMS PERSONNEL LICENSURE INTERSTATE COMPACT.

  • 32.1-371. Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact.

The Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact is hereby enacted into law and entered into with all jurisdictions legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:

SECTION 1. PURPOSE

In order to protect the public through verification of competency and ensure accountability for patient-care-related activities, all states license emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), advanced EMTs, and paramedics. This compact is intended to facilitate the day-to-day movement of EMS personnel across state boundaries in the performance of their EMS duties as assigned by an appropriate authority and authorize state EMS offices to afford immediate legal recognition to EMS personnel licensed in a member state. This compact recognizes that states have a vested interest in protecting the public's health and safety through their licensing and regulation of EMS personnel and that such state regulation shared among the member states will best protect public health and safety. This compact is designed to achieve the following purposes and objectives:

  1. Increase public access to EMS personnel;
  2. Enhance the states' ability to protect the public's health and safety, especially patient safety;
  3. Encourage the cooperation of member states in the areas of EMS licensure and regulation;
  4. Support licensing of military members who are separating from an active duty tour and licensing of their spouses;
  5. Facilitate the exchange of information between member states regarding EMS personnel licensure, adverse action, and significant investigatory information;
  6. Promote compliance with the laws governing EMS personnel practice in each member state; and
  7. Invest all member states with the authority to hold EMS personnel accountable through the mutual recognition of member state licenses.

SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS

In this compact:

  1. "Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)" means an individual licensed with cognitive knowledge and a scope of practice that corresponds to that level in the National EMS Education Standards and National EMS Scope of Practice Model.
  2. "Adverse action" means any administrative, civil, equitable, or criminal action permitted by a state's laws which may be imposed against licensed EMS personnel by a state EMS authority or state court, including, but not limited to, actions against an individual's license such as revocation, suspension, probation, consent agreement, monitoring or other limitation or encumbrance on the individual's practice, letters of reprimand or admonition, fines, criminal convictions, and state court judgments enforcing adverse actions by the state EMS authority.
  3. "Alternative program" means a voluntary, non-disciplinary substance abuse recovery program approved by a state EMS authority.
  4. "Certification" means the successful verification of entry-level cognitive and psychomotor competency using a reliable, validated, and legally defensible examination.
  5. "Commission" means the national administrative body of which all states that have enacted the compact are members.
  6. "Emergency medical technician (EMT)" means an individual licensed with cognitive knowledge and a scope of practice that corresponds to that level in the National EMS Education Standards and National EMS Scope of Practice Model.
  7. "Home state" means a member state where an individual is licensed to practice emergency medical services.
  8. "License" means the authorization by a state for an individual to practice as an EMT, AEMT, or paramedic or at a level in between EMT and paramedic.
  9. "Medical director" means a physician licensed in a member state who is accountable for the care delivered by EMS personnel.
  10. "Member state" means a state that has enacted this compact.
  11. "Privilege to practice" means an individual's authority to deliver emergency medical services in remote states as authorized under this compact.
  12. "Paramedic" means an individual licensed with cognitive knowledge and a scope of practice that corresponds to that level in the National EMS Education Standards and National EMS Scope of Practice Model.
  13. "Remote state" means a member state in which an individual is not licensed.
  14. "Restricted" means the outcome of an adverse action that limits a license or the privilege to practice.
  15. "Rule" means a written statement by the interstate Commission promulgated pursuant to Section 12 of this compact that is of general applicability; implements, interprets, or prescribes a policy or provision of the compact; or is an organizational, procedural, or practice requirement of the Commission and has the force and effect of statutory law in a member state and includes the amendment, repeal, or suspension of an existing rule.
  16. "Scope of practice" means defined parameters of various duties or services that may be provided by an individual with specific credentials. Whether regulated by rule, statute, or court decision, it tends to represent the limits of services an individual may perform.
  17. "Significant investigatory information" means:
  18. Investigative information that a state EMS authority, after a preliminary inquiry that includes notification and an opportunity to respond if required by state law, has reason to believe, if proved true, would result in the imposition of an adverse action on a license or privilege to practice; or
  19. Investigative information that indicates that the individual represents an immediate threat to public health and safety regardless of whether the individual has been notified and had an opportunity to respond.
  20. "State" means any state, commonwealth, district, or territory of the United States.
  21. "State EMS authority" means the board, office, or other agency with the legislative mandate to license EMS personnel.

SECTION 3. HOME STATE LICENSURE

  1. Any member state in which an individual holds a current license shall be deemed a home state for purposes of this compact.
  2. Any member state may require an individual to obtain and retain a license to be authorized to practice in the member state under circumstances not authorized by the privilege to practice under the terms of this compact.
  3. A home state's license authorizes an individual to practice in a remote state under the privilege to practice only if the home state:
  4. Currently requires the use of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination as a condition of issuing initial licenses at the EMT and paramedic levels;
  5. Has a mechanism in place for receiving and investigating complaints about individuals;
  6. Notifies the Commission, in compliance with the terms herein, of any adverse action or significant investigatory information regarding an individual;
  7. No later than five years after activation of the compact, requires a criminal background check of all applicants for initial licensure, including the use of the results of fingerprint or other biometric data checks compliant with the requirements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the exception of federal employees who have suitability determination in accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 731.202 and submit documentation of such as promulgated in the rules of the Commission; and
  8. Complies with the rules of the Commission.

SECTION 4. COMPACT PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE

  1. Member states shall recognize the privilege to practice of an individual licensed in another member state that is in conformance with Section 3.
  2. To exercise the privilege to practice under the terms and provisions of this compact, an individual must:
  3. Be at least 18 years of age;
  4. Possess a current unrestricted license in a member state as an EMT, AEMT, paramedic, or state recognized and licensed level with a scope of practice and authority between EMT and paramedic; and
  5. Practice under the supervision of a medical director.
  6. An individual providing patient care in a remote state under the privilege to practice shall function within the scope of practice authorized by the home state unless and until modified by an appropriate authority in the remote state as may be defined in the rules of the Commission.
  7. Except as provided in Section 4 subsection C, an individual practicing in a remote state will be subject to the remote state's authority and laws. A remote state may, in accordance with due process and that state's laws, restrict, suspend, or revoke an individual's privilege to practice in the remote state and may take any other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its citizens. If a remote state takes action it shall promptly notify the home state and the Commission.
  8. If an individual's license in any home state is restricted or suspended, the individual shall not be eligible to practice in a remote state under the privilege to practice until the individual's home state license is restored.
  9. If an individual's privilege to practice in any remote state is restricted, suspended, or revoked, the individual shall not be eligible to practice in any remote state until the individual's privilege to practice is restored.

SECTION 5. CONDITIONS OF PRACTICE IN A REMOTE STATE

An individual may practice in a remote state under a privilege to practice only in the performance of the individual's EMS duties as assigned by an appropriate authority, as defined in the rules of the Commission, and under the following circumstances:

  1. The individual originates a patient transport in a home state and transports the patient to a remote state;
  2. The individual originates in the home state and enters a remote state to pick up a patient and provide care and transport of the patient to the home state;
  3. The individual enters a remote state to provide patient care and/or transport within that remote state;
  4. The individual enters a remote state to pick up a patient and provide care and transport to a third member state;
  5. Other conditions as determined by rules promulgated by the Commission.

SECTION 6. RELATIONSHIP TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT

Upon a member state's governor's declaration of a state of emergency or disaster that activates the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), all relevant terms and provisions of EMAC shall apply and to the extent any terms or provisions of this compact conflict with EMAC, the terms of EMAC shall prevail with respect to any individual practicing in the remote state in response to such declaration.

SECTION 7. VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS SEPARATING FROM ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY, AND THEIR SPOUSES

  1. Member states shall consider a veteran, active military service member, and member of the National Guard and Reserves separating from an active duty tour, and a spouse thereof, who holds a current valid and unrestricted NREMT certification at or above the level of the state license being sought as satisfying the minimum training and examination requirements for such licensure.
  2. Member states shall expedite the processing of licensure applications submitted by veterans, active military service members, and members of the National Guard and Reserves separating from an active duty tour, and their spouses.
  3. All individuals functioning with a privilege to practice under this Section remain subject to the adverse actions provisions of Section 8.

SECTION 8. ADVERSE ACTIONS

  1. A home state shall have exclusive power to impose adverse action against an individual's license issued by the home state.
  2. If an individual's license in any home state is restricted or suspended, the individual shall not be eligible to practice in a remote state under the privilege to practice until the individual's home state license is restored.
  3. All home state adverse action orders shall include a statement that the individual's compact privileges are inactive. The order may allow the individual to practice in remote states with prior written authorization from both the home state and remote state's EMS authority.
  4. An individual currently subject to adverse action in the home state shall not practice in any remote state without prior written authorization from both the home state and remote state's EMS authority.
  5. A member state shall report adverse actions and any occurrences that the individual's compact privileges are restricted, suspended, or revoked to the Commission in accordance with the rules of the Commission.
  6. A remote state may take adverse action on an individual's privilege to practice within that state.
  7. Any member state may take adverse action against an individual's privilege to practice in that state based on the factual findings of another member state, so long as each state follows its own procedures for imposing such adverse action.
  8. A home state's EMS authority shall investigate and take appropriate action with respect to reported conduct in a remote state as it would if such conduct had occurred within the home state. In such cases, the home state's law shall control in determining the appropriate adverse action.
  9. Nothing in this compact shall override a member state's decision that participation in an alternative program may be used in lieu of adverse action and that such participation shall remain nonpublic if required by the member state's laws. Member states must require individuals who enter any alternative programs to agree not to practice in any other member state during the term of the alternative program without prior authorization from such other member state.

SECTION 9. ADDITIONAL POWERS INVESTED IN A MEMBER STATE'S EMS AUTHORITY

A member state's EMS authority, in addition to any other powers granted under state law, is authorized under this compact to:

  1. Issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence. Subpoenas issued by a member state's EMS authority for the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and/or the production of evidence from another member state, shall be enforced in the remote state by any court of competent jurisdiction, according to that court's practice and procedure in considering subpoenas issued in its own proceedings. The issuing state's EMS authority shall pay any witness fees, travel expenses, mileage, and other fees required by the service statutes of the state where the witnesses and/or evidence are located; and
  2. Issue cease and desist orders to restrict, suspend, or revoke an individual's privilege to practice in the state.

SECTION 10. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR EMS PERSONNEL PRACTICE

  1. The compact states hereby create and establish a joint public agency known as the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice.
  2. The Commission is a body politic and an instrumentality of the compact states.
  3. Venue is proper and judicial proceedings by or against the Commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the Commission is located. The Commission may waive venue and jurisdictional defenses to the extent it adopts or consents to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
  4. Nothing in this compact shall be construed to be a waiver of sovereign immunity.
  5. Membership, Voting, and Meetings.
  6. Each member state shall have and be limited to one (1) delegate. The responsible official of the state EMS authority or his designee shall be the delegate to this compact for each member state. Any delegate may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which the delegate is appointed. Any vacancy occurring in the Commission shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the member state in which the vacancy exists. In the event that more than one board, office, or other agency with the legislative mandate to license EMS personnel at and above the level of EMT exists, the governor of the state will determine which entity will be responsible for assigning the delegate.
  7. Each delegate shall be entitled to one (1) vote with regard to the promulgation of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the business and affairs of the Commission. A delegate shall vote in person or by such other means as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for delegates' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of communication.
  8. The Commission shall meet at least once during each calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth in the bylaws.
  9. All meetings shall be open to the public, and public notice of meetings shall be given in the same manner as required under the rulemaking provisions in Section 12.
  10. The Commission may convene in a closed, nonpublic meeting if the Commission must discuss:
  11. Noncompliance of a member state with its obligations under the compact;
  12. The employment, compensation, discipline or other personnel matters, practices or procedures related to specific employees or other matters related to the Commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;
  13. Current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated litigation;
  14. Negotiation of contracts for the purchase or sale of goods, services, or real estate;
  15. Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;
  16. Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential;
  17. Disclosure of information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
  18. Disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law-enforcement purposes;
  19. Disclosure of information related to any investigatory reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the Commission or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the compact; or
  20. Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal or member state statute.
  21. If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed pursuant to this provision, the Commission's legal counsel or designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exempting provision. The Commission shall keep minutes that fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons therefor, including a description of the views expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the Commission or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
  22. The Commission shall, by a majority vote of the delegates, prescribe bylaws and/or rules to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and exercise the powers of the compact, including but not limited to:
  23. Establishing the fiscal year of the Commission;
  24. Providing reasonable standards and procedures:
  25. For the establishment and meetings of other committees; and
  26. Governing any general or specific delegation of any authority or function of the Commission;
  27. Providing reasonable procedures for calling and conducting meetings of the Commission, ensuring reasonable advance notice of all meetings, and providing an opportunity for attendance of such meetings by interested parties, with enumerated exceptions designed to protect the public's interest, the privacy of individuals, and proprietary information, including trade secrets. The Commission may meet in closed session only after a majority of the membership votes to close a meeting in whole or in part. As soon as practicable, the Commission must make public a copy of the vote to close the meeting revealing the vote of each member with no proxy votes allowed;
  28. Establishing the titles, duties and authority, and reasonable procedures for the election of the officers of the Commission;
  29. Providing reasonable standards and procedures for the establishment of the personnel policies and programs of the Commission. Notwithstanding any civil service or other similar laws of any member state, the bylaws shall exclusively govern the personnel policies and programs of the Commission;
  30. Promulgating a code of ethics to address permissible and prohibited activities of Commission members and employees;
  31. Providing a mechanism for winding up the operations of the Commission and the equitable disposition of any surplus funds that may exist after the termination of the compact after the payment and/or reserving of all of its debts and obligations;
  32. Publishing its bylaws and filing a copy thereof, and a copy of any amendment thereto, with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the member states, if any;
  33. Maintaining its financial records in accordance with the bylaws; and
  34. Meeting and taking such actions as are consistent with the provisions of this compact and the bylaws.
  35. The Commission shall have the following powers:
  36. To promulgate uniform rules to facilitate and coordinate implementation and administration of this compact. The rules shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in all member states;
  37. To bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in the name of the Commission, provided that the standing of any state EMS authority or other regulatory body responsible for EMS personnel licensure to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected;
  38. To purchase and maintain insurance and bonds;
  39. To borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of a member state;
  40. To hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix compensation, define duties, grant such individuals appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of the compact, and to establish the Commission's personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related personnel matters;
  41. To accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services and to receive, utilize, and dispose of the same, provided that at all times the Commission shall strive to avoid any appearance of impropriety and/or conflict of interest;
  42. To lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations of, or otherwise own, hold, improve, or use any property, real, personal, or mixed, provided that at all times the Commission shall strive to avoid any appearance of impropriety;
  43. To sell convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal, or mixed;
  44. To establish a budget and make expenditures;
  45. To borrow money;
  46. To appoint committees, including advisory committees composed of members, state regulators, state legislators or their representatives, and consumer representatives and such other interested persons as may be designated in this compact and the bylaws;
  47. To provide and receive information from, and cooperate with, law-enforcement agencies;
  48. To adopt and use an official seal; and
  49. To perform such other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact consistent with the state regulation of EMS personnel licensure and practice.
  50. Financing of the Commission.
  51. The Commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.
  52. The Commission may accept any and all appropriate revenue sources, donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services.
  53. The Commission may levy on and collect an annual assessment from each member state or impose fees on other parties to cover the cost of the operations and activities of the Commission and its staff, which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover its annual budget as approved each year for which revenue is not provided by other sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the Commission, which shall promulgate a rule binding upon all member states.
  54. The Commission shall not incur obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the Commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except by and with the authority of the member state.
  55. The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the Commission.
  56. Qualified Immunity, Defense, and Indemnification
  57. The members, officers, executive director, employees, and representatives of the Commission shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to protect any such person from suit and/or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.
  58. The Commission shall defend any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the Commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his or her own counsel, and provided further that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from that person's intentional or willful or wanton misconduct.
  59. The Commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the Commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.

SECTION 11. COORDINATED DATABASE

  1. The Commission shall provide for the development and maintenance of a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and significant investigatory information on all licensed individuals in member states.
  2. Notwithstanding any other provision of state law to the contrary, a member state shall submit a uniform data set to the coordinated database on all individuals to whom this compact is applicable as required by the rules of the Commission, including:
  3. Identifying information;
  4. Licensure data;
  5. Significant investigatory information;
  6. Adverse actions against an individual's license;
  7. An indicator that an individual's privilege to practice is restricted, suspended, or revoked;
  8. Nonconfidential information related to alternative program participation;
  9. Any denial of application for licensure and the reason(s) for such denial; and
  10. Other information that may facilitate the administration of this compact, as determined by the rules of the Commission.
  11. The coordinated database administrator shall promptly notify all member states of any adverse action taken against, or significant investigative information on, any individual in a member state.
  12. Member states contributing information to the coordinated database may designate information that may not be shared with the public without the express permission of the contributing state.
  13. Any information submitted to the coordinated database that is subsequently required to be expunged by the laws of the member state contributing the information shall be removed from the coordinated database.

SECTION 12. RULEMAKING

  1. The Commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers pursuant to the criteria set forth in this Section and the rules adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified in each rule or amendment.
  2. If a majority of the legislatures of the member states rejects a rule, by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact, then such rule shall have no further force and effect in any member state.
  3. Rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted at a regular or special meeting of the Commission.
  4. Prior to promulgation and adoption of a final rule or rules by the Commission, and at least sixty (60) days in advance of the meeting at which the rule will be considered and voted upon, the Commission shall file a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
  5. On the website of the Commission; and
  6. On the website of each member state EMS authority or the publication in which each state would otherwise publish proposed rules.
  7. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking shall include:
  8. The proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in which the rule will be considered and voted upon;
  9. The text of the proposed rule or amendment and the reason for the proposed rule;
  10. A request for comments on the proposed rule from any interested person; and
  11. The manner in which interested persons may submit notice to the Commission of their intention to attend the public hearing and any written comments.
  12. Prior to adoption of a proposed rule, the Commission shall allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and arguments, which shall be made available to the public.
  13. The Commission shall grant an opportunity for a public hearing before it adopts a rule or amendment if a hearing is requested by:
  14. At least twenty-five (25) persons;
  15. A governmental subdivision or agency; or
  16. An association having at least twenty-five (25) members.
  17. If a hearing is held on the proposed rule or amendment, the Commission shall publish the place, time, and date of the scheduled public hearing.
  18. All persons wishing to be heard at the hearing shall notify the executive director of the Commission or other designated member in writing of their desire to appear and testify at the hearing not less than five (5) business days before the scheduled date of the hearing.
  19. Hearings shall be conducted in a manner providing each person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment orally or in writing.
  20. No transcript of the hearing is required, unless a written request for a transcript is made, in which case the person requesting the transcript shall bear the cost of producing the transcript. A recording may be made in lieu of a transcript under the same terms and conditions as a transcript. This subsection shall not preclude the Commission from making a transcript or recording of the hearing if it so chooses.
  21. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a separate hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped for the convenience of the Commission at hearings required by this section.
  22. Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not held, the Commission shall consider all written and oral comments received.
  23. The Commission shall, by majority vote of all members, take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the effective date of the rule, if any, based on the rulemaking record and the full text of the rule.
  24. If no written notice of intent to attend the public hearing by interested parties is received, the Commission may proceed with promulgation of the proposed rule without a public hearing.
  25. Upon determination that an emergency exists, the Commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that the usual rulemaking procedures provided in the compact and in this section shall be retroactively applied to the rule as soon as reasonably possible, in no event later than ninety (90) days after the effective date of the rule. For the purposes of this provision, an emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order to:
  26. Meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare;
  27. Prevent a loss of Commission or member state funds;
  28. Meet a deadline for the promulgation of an administrative rule that is established by federal law or rule; or
  29. Protect public health and safety.
  30. The Commission or an authorized committee of the Commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors, errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors. Public notice of any revisions shall be posted on the website of the Commission. The revision shall be subject to challenge by any person for a period of thirty (30) days after posting. The revision may be challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a material change to a rule. A challenge shall be made in writing and delivered to the chair of the Commission prior to the end of the notice period. If no challenge is made, the revision will take effect without further action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take effect without the approval of the Commission.

SECTION 13. OVERSIGHT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND ENFORCEMENT

  1. Oversight.
  2. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government in each member state shall enforce this compact and take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the compact's purposes and intent. The provisions of this compact and the rules promulgated hereunder shall have standing as statutory law.
  3. All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact and the rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a member state pertaining to the subject matter of this compact which may affect the powers, responsibilities, or actions of the Commission.
  4. The Commission shall be entitled to receive service of process in any such proceeding and shall have standing to intervene in such a proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of process to the Commission shall render a judgment or order void as to the Commission, this compact, or promulgated rules.
  5. Default, Technical Assistance, and Termination.
  6. If the Commission determines that a member state has defaulted in the performance of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact or the promulgated rules, the Commission shall:
  7. Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other member states of the nature of the default, the proposed means of curing the default, and/or any other action to be taken by the Commission; and
  8. Provide remedial training and specific technical assistance regarding the default.
  9. If a state in default fails to cure the default, the defaulting state may be terminated from the compact upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the member states, and all rights, privileges, and benefits conferred by this compact may be terminated on the effective date of termination. A cure of the default does not relieve the offending state of obligations or liabilities incurred during the period of default.
  10. Termination of membership in the compact shall be imposed only after all other means of securing compliance have been exhausted. Notice of intent to suspend or terminate shall be given by the Commission to the governor, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature, and each of the member states.
  11. A state that has been terminated from the compact is responsible for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred through the effective date of termination, including obligations that extend beyond the effective date of termination.
  12. The Commission shall not bear any costs related to a state that is found to be in default or that has been terminated from the compact, unless agreed upon in writing between the Commission and the defaulting state.
  13. The defaulting state may appeal the action of the Commission by petitioning the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the Commission has its principal offices. The prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney fees.
  14. Dispute Resolution.
  15. Upon request by a member state, the Commission shall attempt to resolve disputes related to the compact that arise among member states and between member and nonmember states.
  16. The Commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as appropriate.
  17. Enforcement.
  18. The Commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this compact.
  19. By majority vote, the Commission may initiate legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the Commission has its principal offices against a member state in default to enforce compliance with the provisions of the compact and its promulgated rules and bylaws. The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney fees.
  20. The remedies herein shall not be the exclusive remedies of the Commission. The Commission may pursue any other remedies available under federal or state law.

SECTION 14. DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR EMS PERSONNEL PRACTICE AND ASSOCIATED RULES, WITHDRAWAL, AND AMENDMENT

  1. The compact shall come into effect on the date on which the compact statute is enacted into law in the tenth member state. The provisions, which become effective at that time, shall be limited to the powers granted to the Commission relating to assembly and the promulgation of rules. Thereafter, the Commission shall meet and exercise rulemaking powers necessary to the implementation and administration of the compact.
  2. Any state that joins the compact subsequent to the Commission's initial adoption of the rules shall be subject to the rules as they exist on the date on which the compact becomes law in that state. Any rule that has been previously adopted by the Commission shall have the full force and effect of law on the day the compact becomes law in that state.
  3. Any member state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same.
  4. A member state's withdrawal shall not take effect until six (6) months after enactment of the repealing statute.
  5. Withdrawal shall not affect the continuing requirement of the withdrawing state's EMS authority to comply with the investigative and adverse action reporting requirements of this act prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
  6. Nothing contained in this compact shall be construed to invalidate or prevent any EMS personnel licensure agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a member state and a nonmember state that does not conflict with the provisions of this compact.
  7. This compact may be amended by the member states. No amendment to this compact shall become effective and binding upon any member state until it is enacted into the laws of all member states.

SECTION 15. CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY

This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any member state thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining member states. Nothing in this compact supersedes state law or rules related to licensure of EMS agencies.

  1. That the provisions of this act shall expire on July 1, 2021, if the Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact has not become effective as a result of enactment of the compact into law by at least 10 member states by that date.
  2. That the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board shall review decisions of the Interstate Commission for Emergency Medical Services Personnel Practice established pursuant to this compact and, upon approval by the Interstate Commission for Emergency Medical Services Personnel Practice of any action that will have the result of increasing the cost to the Commonwealth of membership in the compact, may recommend to the General Assembly that the Commonwealth withdraw from the compact.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before April 11, 2016

 

VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER

An Act to amend and reenact § 40.1-2.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the occupational safety and health program applicable to employees of agencies of the Commonwealth, political subdivisions, and other public bodies.

[S 607]

Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That § 40.1-2.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
  • 40.1-2.1. Application of title to Commonwealth and its agencies, etc.; safety and health program for public employees.

The provisions of this title and any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall not apply to the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, institutions, or political subdivisions, or any public body, unless, and to the extent that, coverage is extended by specific regulation of the Commissioner or the Safety and Health Codes Board. The Commissioner is authorized to establish and maintain an effective and comprehensive occupational safety and health program applicable to employees of the Commonwealth, its agencies, institutions, political subdivisions, or any public body. Such program shall be subject to any State plan submitted to the federal government for State enforcement of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-596), or any other regulation promulgated under Title 40.1. The Commissioner or the Board shall establish procedures and adopt regulations for enforcing the program which that shall include provisions for (i) the issuance of proposed penalties; (ii) the payment of such penalties or a negotiated sum in lieu of such penalties; (iii) the deposit of such payments into the general fund of the state treasury; (iv) fair hearings, including judicial review; and (v) other sanctions to be applied for violations.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before April 11, 2016

 

VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER

An Act to amend and reenact § 9.1-700 of the Code of Virginia, relating to overtime compensation; fire protection employees.

[S 704]

Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That § 9.1-700 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Employer" means any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including any county, city, town, authority, or special district that employs fire protection employees except any locality with five or fewer paid firefighters that is exempt from overtime rules by 29 U.S.C. § 207 (k).

"Fire protection employee" means any person, other than an employee who is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, who is employed by an employer as a paid firefighter, emergency medical services provider, or hazardous materials worker who is (i) trained in fire suppression and has the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression and is employed by a fire department of an employer and or (ii) engaged in the prevention, control, and or extinguishment of fires or response to emergency situations where life, property, or the environment is at risk.

"Law-enforcement employee" means any person who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of the Commonwealth, other than an employee who is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and who is a full-time employee of either (i) a police department or (ii) a sheriff's office that is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof.

"Regularly scheduled work hours" means those hours that are recurring and fixed within the work period and for which an employee receives a salary or hourly compensation. "Regularly scheduled work hours" does not include on-call, extra duty assignments or any other nonrecurring and nonfixed hours.

Awaiting Governor’s signature before April 11, 2016


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