Text: H.R.911 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 911 SC
101st CONGRESS
2d Session
 H. R. 911
To encourage the States to enact legislation to grant immunity from personal
civil liability, under certain circumstances, to volunteers working on behalf
of nonprofit organizations and governmental entities.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 7, 1989
Mr. PORTER (for himself and Mr. FEIGHAN) introduced the following bill; which
was referred jointly to the Committees on the Judiciary and Ways and Means
March 2, 1990
Additional sponsors: Mr. AKAKA, Mr. ARMEY, Mr. ATKINS, Mr. BARTLETT,
Mr. BEREUTER, Mr. BEVILL, Mr. BONIOR, Mr. BROOMFIELD, Mr. BUSTAMANTE,
Mr. COELHO, Mr. CONTE, Mr. COSTELLO, Mr. COUGHLIN, Mr. DE LUGO, Mr. DONNELLY,
Mr. EMERSON, Mr. ENGLISH, Mr. GALLEGLY, Mr. GLICKMAN, Mr. GUNDERSON,
Mr. HALL of Ohio, Mr. HARRIS, Mr. HERGER, Mr. HERTEL, Mr. HOCHBRUECKNER,
Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut, Mr. KANJORSKI, Mr. LIGHTFOOT, Mr. THOMAS
A. LUKEN, Mr. DONALD E. LUKENS, Mrs. MARTIN of Illinois, Mr. MAVROULES,
Mr. MCCLOSKEY, Mr. MILLER of Washington, Mr. MONTGOMERY, Mr. MOORHEAD,
Mrs. MORELLA, Mr. MRAZEK, Mr. NIELSON of Utah, Mr. OWENS of New York,
Mr. PARRIS, Mr. PENNY, Mr. POSHARD, Mr. PURSELL, Mr. RAY, Mr. ROE, Mr. SHAYS,
Mr. SLATTERY, Mr. SMITH of New Hampshire, Mr. SMITH of Florida, Mrs. SMITH of
Nebraska, Mr. SPRATT, Mr. STUDDS, Mr. UDALL, Mr. UPTON, Mr. WEBER, Mr. WOLF,
Mr. WOLPE, Mr. YATRON, Mr. YOUNG of Florida, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mrs. BENTLEY,
Mr. BERMAN, Mr. BILBRAY, Mr. BLILEY, Mr. BROWN of Colorado, Mr. BUNNING,
Mr. CARPER, Mr. CHANDLER, Mr. COBLE, Mr. COLEMAN of Missouri, Mrs. COLLINS,
Mr. DAVIS, Mr. DORGAN of North Dakota, Mr. ESPY, Mr. GEKAS, Mr. GOODLING,
Mr. GORDON, Mr. HANCOCK, Mr. HATCHER, Mr. HEFNER, Mr. HENRY, Mr. HUGHES,
Mr. HUNTER, Mr. HUTTO, Mr. HYDE, Mr. IRELAND, Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota,
Mr. KOSTMAYER, Mr. KYL, Mr. LANCASTER, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. LEATH of Texas,
Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Ms. LONG, Mr. LOWERY of California, Mrs. LOWEY of
New York, Mr. MARLENEE, Mr. MAZZOLI, Mr. MCCURDY, Mr. MCDADE, Mr. MCNULTY,
Mr. NATCHER, Mr. NEAL of North Carolina, Mr. PANETTA, Mrs. PATTERSON,
Mr. PAYNE of Virginia, Mr. PEASE, Mr. PETRI, Mr. PICKETT, Mr. QUILLEN,
Mr. RAVENEL, Mr. RHODES, Mr. RICHARDSON, Mr. RINALDO, Mr. RITTER, Mr. ROBERTS,
Mr. ROBINSON, Mr. ROGERS, Mrs. SAIKI, Mr. SAXTON, Ms. SCHNEIDER, Mr. SISISKY,
Ms. SNOWE, Mr. SOLOMON, Mr. STANGELAND, Mr. TAUKE, Mr. THOMAS of Georgia,
Mr. WALGREN, Mr. WALKER, Mr. WELDON, Mr. WILSON, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. APPLEGATE,
Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. BROWN of California, Mr. CALLAHAN, Mr. CAMPBELL of Colorado,
Mr. CLARKE, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. DYSON, Mr. EDWARDS of Oklahoma,
Mr. EVANS, Mr. GINGRICH, Mr. GRANDY, Mr. HAYES of Louisiana, Mrs. KENNELLY,
Mr. KOLTER, Mr. LEVINE of California, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mrs. MEYERS of Kansas,
Mr. NAGLE, Mr. OLIN, Mrs. ROUKEMA, Mr. ROWLAND of Connecticut, Mr. SAVAGE,
Mr. SCHUETTE, Mr. SHUSTER, Mr. SKAGGS, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Mr. STARK,
Mr. TORRES, Mr. BARTON of Texas, Mr. BOEHLERT, Mr. BURTON of Indiana,
Mr. DANNEMEYER, Mr. DELAY, Mr. FAWELL, Mr. GALLO, Mr. GILMAN, Mr. GREEN,
Mr. HASTERT, Mr. KOLBE, Mr. LEACH of Iowa, Mr. LENT, Mr. LEWIS of California,
Mr. LEWIS of Florida, Mr. MCGRATH, Mr. MCMILLAN of North Carolina, Mr. MURTHA,
Mr. MYERS of Indiana, Mr. OXLEY, Mr. REGULA, Mr. ROTH, Mr. SHUMWAY,
Mr. SLAUGHTER of Virginia, Mr. DENNY SMITH, Mr. STENHOLM, Mr. STUMP,
Mr. SUNDQUIST, Mr. WHITTAKER, Mr. YATES, Mr. YOUNG of Alaska, Mr. FROST,
Mr. MARTIN of New York, Mr. THOMAS of California, Mr. CRAIG, Mr. HORTON,
Mr. JAMES, Mr. WISE, Mr. MACHTLEY, Mrs. BYRON, Mr. PACKARD, Mr. HILER,
Mr. TAUZIN, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. KLECZKA, Mr. ROBERT F. SMITH, Mr. CLEMENT,
Mr. COOPER, Mr. BATES, Mr. MCCRERY, Mr. STALLINGS, and Mr. Baker
A BILL
To encourage the States to enact legislation to grant immunity from personal
civil liability, under certain circumstances, to volunteers working on behalf
of nonprofit organizations and governmental entities.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  This Act may be cited as the `Volunteer Protection Act of 1989'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
  (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds and declares that--
  (1) within certain States, the willingness of volunteers to offer their
  services has been increasingly deterred by a perception that they thereby
  put personal assets at risk in the event of liability actions against the
  organization they serve;
  (2) as a result of this perception, many nonprofit public and private
  organizations and governmental entities, including voluntary associations,
  social service agencies, educational institutions, local governments,
  foundations, and other civic programs, have been adversely affected
  through the withdrawal of volunteers from boards of directors and service
  in other capacities;
  (3) the contribution of these programs to their communities is thereby
  diminished, resulting in fewer and higher cost programs than would be
  obtainable if volunteers were participating; and
  (4) because Federal funds are expended on useful and cost-effective social
  service programs which depend heavily on volunteer participation, protection
  of voluntarism through clarification and limitation of the personal liability
  risks assumed by the volunteer in connection with such participation is
  an appropriate subject for Federal encouragement of State reform.
  (b) PURPOSE- It is the purpose of this Act to promote the interests of social
  service program beneficiaries and taxpayers and to sustain the availability
  of programs and nonprofit organizations and governmental entities which
  depend on volunteer contributions by encouraging reasonable reform of State
  laws to provide protection from personal financial liability to volunteers
  serving with nonprofit organizations and governmental entities for actions
  undertaken in good faith on behalf of such organizations.
SEC. 3. NO PREEMPTION OF STATE TORT LAW.
  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt the laws of any State
  governing tort liability actions.
SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON LIABILITY FOR VOLUNTEERS.
  (a) LIABILITY PROTECTION FOR VOLUNTEERS- Except as provided in subsections
  (b) and (d), any volunteer of a nonprofit organization or governmental
  entity shall incur no personal financial liability for any tort claim
  alleging damage or injury from any act or omission of the volunteer on
  behalf of the organization or entity if--
  (1) such individual was acting in good faith and within the scope of
  such individual's official functions and duties with the organization or
  entity; and
  (2) such damage or injury was not caused by willful and wanton misconduct
  by such individual.
  (b) CONCERNING RESPONSIBILITY OF VOLUNTEERS WITH RESPECT TO ORGANIZATIONS-
  Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any civil action
  brought by any nonprofit organization or any governmental entity against
  any volunteer of such organization or entity.
  (c) NO EFFECT ON LIABILITY OF ORGANIZATION- Nothing in this section shall
  be construed to affect the liability of any nonprofit organization or
  governmental entity with respect to injury caused to any person.
  (d) EXCEPTIONS TO VOLUNTEER LIABILITY PROTECTION- A State may impose one
  or more of the following conditions on and exceptions to the granting of
  liability protection to any volunteer of an organization or entity required
  by subsection (a):
  (1) The organization or entity must adhere to risk management procedures,
  including mandatory training of volunteers.
  (2) The organization or entity shall be liable for the acts or omissions
  of its volunteers to the same extent as an employer is liable, under the
  laws of that State, for the acts or omissions of its employees.
  (3) The protection from liability does not apply if the volunteer was
  operating a motor vehicle or was operating a vessel, aircraft, or other
  vehicle for which a pilot's license is required.
  (4) The protection from liability does not apply in the case of a suit
  brought by an appropriate officer of a State or local government to enforce
  a Federal, State, or local law.
  (5) The protection from liability shall apply only if the organization or
  entity provides a financially secure source of recovery for individuals
  who suffer injury as a result of actions taken by a volunteer on behalf of
  the organization or entity. A financially secure source of recovery may
  be an insurance policy within specified limits, comparable coverage from
  a risk pooling mechanism, equivalent assets, or alternative arrangements
  that satisfy the State that the entity will be able to pay for losses up
  to a specified amount. Separate standards for different types of liability
  exposure may be specified.
SEC. 5. CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT AND ADJUSTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK
GRANT ALLOTMENTS.
  (a) CERTIFICATION AND BLOCK GRANT ALLOTMENTS- In the case of any State which
  certifies, not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this
  Act, to the Secretary of Health and Human Services that it has enacted,
  adopted, or otherwise has in effect State law which substantially complies
  with section 4(a), the Secretary shall increase by 1 percent the fiscal year
  allotment which would otherwise be made to such State to carry out the Social
  Services Block Grant Program under title XX of the Social Security Act.
  (b) CONTINUATION OF INCREASE- Any increase made under subsection (a) in
  an allotment to a State shall remain in effect only if the State makes
  a certification to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, not later
  than the end of each 1-year period occurring successively after the end
  of the 2-year period described in subsection (a), that it has in effect
  State law which substantially complies with section 4(a).
SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.
  For purposes of this Act--
  (1) the term `volunteer' means an individual performing services for
  a nonprofit organization or a governmental entity who does not receive
  compensation, or any other thing of value in lieu of compensation, for
  such services (other than reimbursement for expenses actually incurred
  or honoraria not to exceed $300 per year for government service), and
  such term includes a volunteer serving as a director, officer, trustee,
  or direct service volunteer;
  (2) the term `nonprofit organization' means any organization described in
  section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax
  under section 501(a) of such Code;
  (3) the term `damage or injury' includes physical, nonphysical, economic,
  and noneconomic damage; and
  (4) the term `State' means each of the several States, the District of
  Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam,
  American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, any other territory or
  possession of the United States, or any political subdivision of any such
  State, territory, or possession.