Text: H.R.977 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/27/2003)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 977 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 977

To amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to provide 
  death and disability benefits for aerial firefighters who work on a 
contract basis for the Forest Service or an agency of the Department of 
 the Interior and suffer death or disability in the line of duty, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 27, 2003

 Mrs. Cubin (for herself and Mr. Issa) introduced the following bill; 
 which was referred to the Committee on Resources, and in addition to 
  the Committees on Agriculture and the Judiciary, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to provide 
  death and disability benefits for aerial firefighters who work on a 
contract basis for the Forest Service or an agency of the Department of 
 the Interior and suffer death or disability in the line of duty, and 
                          for other purposes.

    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 ``Aerial Firefighter Relief Act of 
2003''.

SEC. 2. DEATH AND DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR AERIAL FIREFIGHTERS OF THE 
              FOREST SERVICE AND DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AGENCIES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) Pilots and crew members of aircraft used to fight 
        wildfires generally work on a contract basis with a State or 
        Federal agency and, as a result, are not eligible for death or 
        disability benefits should they be killed or injured in the 
        line of duty.
            (2) Employer death benefits and life insurance for aerial 
        firefighters are expensive, and the families of these unsung 
        heroes have to cope not only with the loss of a loved one, but 
        also the additional financial loss of a wage earner.
            (3) It is vital that Congress continue to encourage the 
        recruitment and retention of skilled and experienced aerial 
        firefighters.
    (b) Eligibility for Death and Disability Benefits.--Section 308 of 
the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1738) is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(c) Eligibility of Aerial Firefighters for Death and Disability 
Benefits.--
            ``(1) Eligibility.--An individual who serves a public 
        agency specified in paragraph (2), or a contractor or 
        subcontractor of such a public agency, in an official capacity, 
        with or without compensation, as a pilot or a crew member of an 
        aircraft carrying out a firefighting mission on behalf of such 
        public agency and who is killed or disabled as a result of an 
        injury that occurs while the aircraft is moving under its own 
        power for the purpose of take off, flight, or landing shall be 
        eligible for a death or disability benefit under section 1201 
        of Public Law 90-351 (42 U.S.C. 3796).
            ``(2) Covered public agencies.--Subsection (a) applies with 
        respect to the Forest Service and any agency of the Department 
        of the Interior.
            ``(3) Applicability.--This subsection shall apply with 
        respect to death or injuries occurring on or after September 
        29, 1976.''.

SEC. 3. ELIGIBILITY OF AERIAL FIREFIGHTERS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER 
              DEATH BENEFITS.

    (a) In General.--Paragraph (7) of section 1204 of the Omnibus Crime 
Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (B) by striking ``or'' at the end;
            (2) in subparagraph (C) by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
                    ``(D) an individual serving a public agency, or a 
                contractor or subcontractor at any tier of a public 
                agency, in an official capacity, with or without 
                compensation, as a pilot or a crew member of an 
                aircraft carrying out a firefighting mission on behalf 
                of such public agency, so long as the injury occurs 
                during the contract period beginning with the moment in 
                which the aircraft moves under its own power for the 
                purpose of flight and ending with the moment in which 
                the aircraft comes to rest after landing.''.
    (b) Applicability.--The amendments made by subsection (a) shall 
apply with respect to injuries occurring on or after September 29, 
1976.
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