Text: S.1696 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (10/12/2011)


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[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 1696 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

112th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1696

        To improve the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            October 12, 2011

  Mr. Leahy (for himself, Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Landrieu, and Mr. Cardin) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
                       Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
        To improve the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program.

    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 ``Public Safety Officers' Benefits 
Improvements Act of 2011''.

SEC. 2. BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN NONPROFIT EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE 
              PROVIDERS AND CERTAIN TRAINEES; MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.) is amended--
            (1) in section 901(a) (42 U.S.C. 3791(a))--
                    (A) in paragraph (26), by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                    (B) in paragraph (27), by striking the period at 
                the end and inserting ``; and''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(28) the term `hearing examiner' includes any medical or 
        claims examiner.'';
            (2) in section 1201 (42 U.S.C. 3796)--
                    (A) in subsection (a), by striking ``follows:'' and 
                all that follows and inserting the following: ``follows 
                (if the payee indicated is living on the date on which 
                the determination is made)--
            ``(1) if there is no child who survived the public safety 
        officer, to the surviving spouse of the public safety officer;
            ``(2) if there is at least 1 child who survived the public 
        safety officer and a surviving spouse of the public safety 
        officer, 50 percent to the surviving child (or children, in 
        equal shares) and 50 percent to the surviving spouse;
            ``(3) if there is no surviving spouse of the public safety 
        officer, to the surviving child (or children, in equal shares);
            ``(4) if there is no surviving spouse of the public safety 
        officer and no surviving child--
                    ``(A) to the surviving individual (or individuals, 
                in shares per the designation, or, otherwise, in equal 
                shares) designated by the public safety officer to 
                receive benefits under this subsection in the most 
                recently executed designation of beneficiary of the 
                public safety officer on file at the time of death with 
                the public safety agency, organization, or unit; or
                    ``(B) if there is no individual qualifying under 
                subparagraph (A), to the surviving individual (or 
                individuals, in equal shares) designated by the public 
                safety officer to receive benefits under the most 
                recently executed life insurance policy of the public 
                safety officer on file at the time of death with the 
                public safety agency, organization, or unit;
            ``(5) if there is no individual qualifying under paragraph 
        (1), (2), (3), or (4), to the surviving parent (or parents, in 
        equal shares) of the public safety officer; or
            ``(6) if there is no individual qualifying under paragraph 
        (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5), to the surviving individual (or 
        individuals, in equal shares) who would qualify under the 
        definition of the term `child' under section 1204 but for 
        age.'';
                    (B) in subsection (b)--
                            (i) by striking ``direct result of a 
                        catastrophic'' and inserting ``direct and 
                        proximate result of a personal'';
                            (ii) by striking ``pay,'' and all that 
                        follows through ``the same'' and inserting 
                        ``pay the same'';
                            (iii) by striking ``in any year'' and 
                        inserting ``to the public safety officer (if 
                        living on the date on which the determination 
                        is made)'';
                            (iv) by striking ``in such year, adjusted'' 
                        and inserting ``with respect to the date on 
                        which the catastrophic injury occurred, as 
                        adjusted'';
                            (v) by striking ``, to such officer'';
                            (vi) by striking ``the total'' and all that 
                        follows through ``For'' and inserting ``for''; 
                        and
                            (vii) by striking ``That these'' and all 
                        that follows through the period, and inserting 
                        ``That the amount payable under this subsection 
                        shall be the amount payable as of the date of 
                        catastrophic injury of such public safety 
                        officer.'';
                    (C) in subsection (f)--
                            (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``, as 
                        amended (D.C. Code, sec. 4-622); or'' and 
                        inserting a semicolon;
                            (ii) in paragraph (2)--
                                    (I) by striking ``. Such 
                                beneficiaries shall only receive 
                                benefits under such section 8191 that'' 
                                and inserting ``, such that 
                                beneficiaries shall receive only such 
                                benefits under such section 8191 as''; 
                                and
                                    (II) by striking the period at the 
                                end and inserting ``; or''; and
                            (iii) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(3) payments under the September 11th Victim Compensation 
        Fund of 2001 (49 U.S.C. 40101 note; Public Law 107-42).'';
                    (D) by amending subsection (k) to read as follows:
    ``(k) As determined by the Bureau, a heart attack, stroke, or 
vascular rupture suffered by a public safety officer shall be presumed 
to constitute a personal injury within the meaning of subsection (a), 
sustained in the line of duty by the officer and directly and 
proximately resulting in death, if--
            ``(1) the public safety officer, while on duty--
                    ``(A) engages in a situation involving nonroutine 
                stressful or strenuous physical law enforcement, fire 
                suppression, rescue, hazardous material response, 
                emergency medical services, prison security, disaster 
                relief, or other emergency response activity; or
                    ``(B) participates in a training exercise involving 
                nonroutine stressful or strenuous physical activity;
            ``(2) the heart attack, stroke, or vascular rupture 
        commences--
                    ``(A) while the officer is engaged or participating 
                as described in paragraph (1);
                    ``(B) while the officer remains on that duty after 
                being engaged or participating as described in 
                paragraph (1); or
                    ``(C) not later than 24 hours after the officer is 
                engaged or participating as described in paragraph (1); 
                and
            ``(3) the heart attack, stroke, or vascular rupture 
        directly and proximately results in the death of the public 
        safety officer,
unless competent medical evidence establishes that the heart attack, 
stroke, or vascular rupture was unrelated to the engagement or 
participation or was directly and proximately caused by something other 
than the mere presence of cardiovascular-disease risk factors.''; and
                    (E) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(n) The public safety agency, organization, or unit responsible 
for maintaining on file an executed designation of beneficiary or 
executed life insurance policy for purposes of subsection (a)(4) shall 
maintain the confidentiality of the designation or policy in the same 
manner as the agency, organization, or unit maintains personnel or 
other similar records of the public safety officer.'';
            (3) in section 1202 (42 U.S.C. 3796a)--
                    (A) by striking ``death'', each place it appears 
                except the second place it appears, and inserting 
                ``fatal''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (1), by striking ``or catastrophic 
                injury'' the second place it appears and inserting ``, 
                disability, or injury'';
            (4) in section 1203 (42 U.S.C. 3796a-1)--
                    (A) in the section heading, by striking ``who have 
                died in the line of duty'' and inserting ``who have 
                sustained fatal or catastrophic injury in the line of 
                duty''; and
                    (B) by striking ``who have died in the line of 
                duty'' and inserting ``who have sustained fatal or 
                catastrophic injury in the line of duty'';
            (5) in section 1204 (42 U.S.C. 3796b)--
                    (A) by redesignating paragraphs (1) through (9) as 
                paragraphs (2) through (10), respectively;
                    (B) by inserting before paragraph (2), as so 
                redesignated, the following:
            ``(1) `candidate-officer' means an individual who is 
        officially enrolled or admitted, as a cadet or trainee, in an 
        officially recognized, formal program of instruction or 
        training (such as a police or fire academy) that is solely and 
        specifically intended to result, directly or immediately upon 
        completion, in--
                    ``(A) commissioning as a law enforcement officer;
                    ``(B) conferral of authority to engage in fire 
                suppression (as an officer or employee of a public fire 
                department or as an officially recognized or designated 
                member of a legally organized volunteer fire 
                department); or
                    ``(C) the granting of official authorization or 
                license to engage in rescue activity or in the 
                provision of emergency medical services as a member of 
                a rescue squad or ambulance crew that is (or is a part 
                of) the agency or entity sponsoring the enrollment or 
                admission of the individual;'';
                    (C) in paragraph (2), as so redesignated, by 
                striking ``consequences of an injury that'' and 
                inserting ``an injury, the direct and proximate 
                consequences of which'';
                    (D) in paragraph (4), as so redesignated--
                            (i) in the matter preceding clause (i)--
                                    (I) by inserting ``or permanently 
                                and totally disabled'' after 
                                ``deceased''; and
                                    (II) by striking ``death'' and 
                                inserting ``fatal or catastrophic 
                                injury''; and
                            (ii) by redesignating clauses (i), (ii), 
                        and (iii) as subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), 
                        respectively;
                    (E) in paragraph (6), as so redesignated--
                            (i) by striking ``post-mortem'' each place 
                        it appears and inserting ``post-injury''; and
                            (ii) by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) 
                        as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;
                    (F) in paragraph (8), as so redesignated, by 
                striking ``public employee member of a rescue squad or 
                ambulance crew;'' and inserting ``employee or volunteer 
                member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew (including a 
                ground or air ambulance service) that--
                            ``(i) is a public agency; or
                            ``(ii) is (or is a part of) a nonprofit 
                        entity serving the public that--
                                    ``(I) is officially authorized or 
                                licensed to engage in rescue activity 
                                or to provide emergency medical 
                                services; and
                                    ``(II) is officially designated as 
                                a prehospital emergency medical 
                                response agency;''; and
                    (G) in paragraph (10), as so redesignated--
                            (i) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``as a 
                        chaplain, or as a member of a rescue squad or 
                        ambulance crew;'' and inserting ``or as a 
                        chaplain;'';
                            (ii) in subparagraph (B)(ii), by striking 
                        ``or'' after the semicolon;
                            (iii) in subparagraph (C)(ii), by striking 
                        the period and inserting a semicolon; and
                            (iv) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(D) a member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew 
                who, as authorized or licensed by law and by the 
                applicable agency or entity (and as designated by such 
                agency or entity), is engaging in rescue activity or in 
                the provision of emergency medical services; or
                    ``(E) a candidate-officer who is engaging in an 
                activity or exercise--
                            ``(i) that is a formal or required part of 
                        the program described in paragraph (1); and
                            ``(ii) that poses or is designed to 
                        simulate situations that pose significant 
                        dangers, threats, or hazards.'';
            (6) in section 1205 (42 U.S.C. 3796c), by adding at the end 
        the following:
    ``(d) Unless expressly provided otherwise, any reference in this 
part to any provision of law not in this part shall be understood to 
constitute a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by 
reference, and thus to include any subsequent amendments to the 
provision.'';
            (7) in each of subsections (a) and (b) of section 1212 (42 
        U.S.C. 3796d-1), sections 1213 and 1214 (42 U.S.C. 3796d-2 and 
        3796d-3), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 1216 (42 
        U.S.C. 3796d-5), by striking ``dependent'' each place it 
        appears and inserting ``person'';
            (8) in section 1212 (42 U.S.C. 3796d-1)--
                    (A) in subsection (a)--
                            (i) in paragraph (1), in the matter 
                        preceding subparagraph (A), by striking 
                        ``Subject'' and all that follows through ``, 
                        the'' and inserting ``The''; and
                            (ii) in paragraph (3), by striking 
                        ``reduced by'' and all that follows through 
                        ``(B) the amount'' and inserting ``reduced by 
                        the amount'';
                    (B) in subsection (c)--
                            (i) in the subsection heading, by striking 
                        ``Dependent''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``dependent'';
            (9) in section 1213(b)(2) (42 U.S.C. 3796d-2(b)(2)), by 
        striking ``dependent's'' each place it appears and inserting 
        ``person's'';
            (10) in section 1216 (42 U.S.C. 3796d-5)--
                    (A) in subsection (a), by striking ``each 
                dependent'' each place it appears and inserting ``a 
                spouse or child''; and
                    (B) by striking ``dependents'' each place it 
                appears and inserting ``a person''; and
            (11) in section 1217(3)(A) (42 U.S.C. 3796d-6(3)(A)), by 
        striking ``described in'' and all that follows and inserting 
        ``an institution of higher education, as defined in section 102 
        of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002); and''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--Section 402(l)(4)(C) of 
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended--
            (1) by striking ``section 1204(9)(A)'' and inserting 
        ``section 1204(10)(A)''; and
            (2) by striking ``42 U.S.C. 3796b(9)(A)'' and inserting 
        ``42 U.S.C. 3796b(10)(A)''.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS; DETERMINATIONS; APPEALS.

    The matter under the heading ``public safety officers benefits'' 
under the heading ``Office of Justice Programs'' under title II of 
division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 
110-161; 121 Stat. 1912; 42 U.S.C. 3796c-2) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``decisions'' and inserting 
        ``determinations'';
            (2) by striking ``(including those, and any related 
        matters, pending)''; and
            (3) by striking the period at the end and inserting the 
        following: ``:  Provided further, That, on and after the date 
        of enactment of the Public Safety Officers' Benefits 
        Improvements Act of 2011, as to each such statute--
            ``(1) the provisions of section 1001(a)(4) of such title I 
        (42 U.S.C. 3793(a)(4)) shall apply;
            ``(2) payment shall be made only upon a determination by 
        the Bureau that the facts legally warrant the payment;
            ``(3) any reference to section 1202 of such title I shall 
        be deemed to be a reference to paragraphs (2) and (3) of such 
        section 1202; and
            ``(4) a certification submitted under any such statute may 
        be accepted by the Bureau as prima facie evidence of the facts 
        asserted in the certification:
  Provided further, That, on and after the date of enactment of the 
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Improvements Act of 2011, no appeal 
shall bring any final determination of the Bureau before any court for 
review unless notice of appeal is filed (within the time specified 
herein and in the manner prescribed for appeal to United States courts 
of appeals from United States district courts) not later than 90 days 
after the date on which the Bureau serves notice of the final 
determination:  Provided further,  That any regulations promulgated by 
the Bureau under such part (or any such statute) before, on, or after 
the date of enactment of the Public Safety Officers' Benefits 
Improvements Act of 2011 shall apply to any matter pending on, or filed 
or accruing after, the effective date specified in the regulations, 
except as the Bureau may indicate otherwise.''.

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    (a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the 
amendments made by this Act shall--
            (1) take effect on the date of enactment of this Act; and
            (2) apply to any matter pending, before the Bureau of 
        Justice Assistance or otherwise, on the date of enactment of 
        this Act, or filed or accruing after that date.
    (b) Exceptions.--
            (1) Rescue squads and ambulance crews.--For a member of a 
        rescue squad or ambulance crew (as defined in section 1204(8) 
        of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 
        1968, as amended by this Act), the amendments made by this Act 
        shall apply to injuries sustained on or after June 1, 2009.
            (2) Heart attacks, strokes, and vascular ruptures.--Section 
        1201(k) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
        Streets Act of 1968, as amended by this Act, shall apply to 
        heart attacks, strokes, and vascular ruptures sustained on or 
        after December 15, 2003.
            (3) Candidate-officers.--For a candidate-officer (as 
        defined in section 1204(1) of the title I of the Omnibus Crime 
        Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended by this Act), 
        the amendments made by this Act shall apply to injuries 
        sustained on or after the date of enactment of this Act.
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