[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1492

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Senator† TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† "Assistance to Firefighters' Families Act"; doubles pension amounts for beneficiaries of certain deceased volunteer emergency service providers; provides for burial expenses and adjusts life insurance coverage for volunteer firefighters; permits fire code inspection surcharge.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As reported by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on March 26, 2018, with amendments.

††


An Act increasing certain volunteer emergency workersí survivor pensions, 1[providing health and life insurance to] and concerning life insurance and funeral and burial expenses for1 volunteer firefighters, designated as the "Assistance to Firefighters' Families Act," and amending N.J.S.40A:10-29, 1[N.J.S.40A:10-30,]1 P.L.1957, c.168, and P.L.1983, c.383.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1[1.† N.J.S.40A:10-29 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 40A:10-29.† In addition to the insurance required under chapter 15 of Title 34 of the Revised Statutes, a municipality maintaining a volunteer fire department, or in which there are one or more incorporated volunteer fire companies whose members† have or shall form themselves into a group or groups for the purpose of† obtaining a group life insurance plan with any insurance company authorized to do business in New Jersey, [may] shall appropriate moneys to defray the cost of such insurance and pay the premiums therefor.

†††† A municipality shall [not] undertake the cost [nor] and pay the premiums on [any] a policy of group life insurance to benefit all its volunteer firefighters. [where the] The amount payable upon the death of each [assured exceeds the amount of $25,000] insured volunteer firefighter shall be $250,000.

†††† A municipality shall also pay reasonable funeral and burial costs upon the death an assured volunteer firefighter.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.220, s.2)]1

 

†††† 11.† N.J.S.40A:10-29 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 40A:10-29.† In addition to the insurance required under chapter 15 of Title 34 of the Revised Statutes, a municipality maintaining a volunteer fire department, or in which there are one or more incorporated volunteer fire companies whose members have or shall form themselves into a group or groups for the purpose of obtaining a group life insurance plan with any insurance company authorized to† do business in New Jersey, may appropriate moneys to defray the cost of such insurance and pay the premiums therefor.

†††† A municipality shall not undertake the cost nor pay the premiums on any policy of group life insurance where the amount payable upon the death of each assured exceeds the amount of [$25,000] $250,000.

†††† A municipality shall pay reasonable funeral and burial costs
upon the death of an assured volunteer firefighter, to the extent those costs are not covered by the New Jersey State Firemenís Association or a firemenís relief association established in accordance with R.S.43:17-1 et seq.1

(cf: P.L.2007, c.220, s.2)

 

†††† 1[2.† N.J.S.40A:10-30 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 40A:10-30.† In addition to the insurance required pursuant to the provisions of chapter† 15 of Title 34 of the Revised Statutes and the coverage provided in N.J.S.40A:10-29, a municipality maintaining a volunteer fire department or in which there are one or more incorporated volunteer fire companies [may] shall:

†††† a.†††† Effect and maintain group health, accident and accidental death and dismemberment, hospitalization, medical, surgical, major medical expenses[, or health and accident] insurance with any insurance company authorized to do business in New Jersey, or with a nonprofit hospital service or medical service corporation with respect to the benefits which they are authorized to provide[, which is determined to be necessary or desirable for the protection, safety and welfare of the members of the volunteer fire department or the members of the incorporated volunteer fire companies]; and

†††† b.††† Effect and maintain a contract or contracts to provide drug prescription or other health care benefits [which is determined to be necessary or desirable] for the protection, safety and welfare of the members of the volunteer fire department or members of an incorporated volunteer fire company[;].

†††† c.†††† [In the discretion of the governing body of the municipality, appropriate† and pay all or any portion of the cost of such insurance or contract or both.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.††† , c.†† .) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

(cf: N.J.S.40A:10-30)]1

 

†††† 1[3.] 2.1†††† Section 2 of P.L.1957, c.168 (C.43:12-28.2) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2.††† A survivor's pension granted under section 1 of P.L.1957, c.168 (C.43:12-28.1) shall be for the sum of (a) [$15,000] $30,000 annually and shall be paid† to the widow, during her widowhood, or to the child or children of such firefighter, emergency medical technician, or first aid or rescue squad worker, if he leaves no surviving widow, or to such child or children after the death of such widow, (b) [$10,000] $20,000 annually and shall be paid† to the child or children of such firefighter, emergency medical technician, or first aid or rescue squad worker, if the surviving widow remarries, or (c) [$5,000] $10,000 annually and shall be paid to the parent or parents of such firefighter, emergency medical technician, or first aid or rescue squad worker, if he leaves no surviving widow or child.† As used in this section, the terms "widow" and "widowhood" shall also include "widower" and "widowerhood" respectively.

(cf: P.L.2002, c.134, s.2)

 

†††† 1[4.] 3.1†††† Section 12 of P.L.1983, c.383 (C.52:27D-203) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 12.† a.† Each enforcing agency in this State shall enforce this act in all buildings, structures and premises within its jurisdiction, except owner-occupied buildings used exclusively for dwelling purposes and containing fewer than three dwelling units, subject to the control and supervision of the commissioner and in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner.† The commissioner shall consult with and advise all local enforcement agencies enforcing the provision of this act, and each local enforcement agency shall provide the commissioner with reports, data and information required by the commissioner.† To cover the cost to the municipality of conducting inspections under this act, the municipality may, by ordinance, establish fees, which shall be paid into the treasury of the municipality to which the local enforcing agency is responsible, and which shall be appropriated by the municipality to the local enforcing agency to pay the cost of enforcing this act.

†††† b.††† A local enforcing agency consisting of or employing at least one paid fire inspector who is certified pursuant to subsection c. of this section may elect to inspect high-rise structures and life hazard uses within its jurisdiction, in lieu of inspection by the commissioner.† That election shall be made by resolution of the governing body having jurisdiction over the local enforcing agency.† If an appropriate resolution has not been received by the commissioner on or before the effective date of this act, the department shall perform all inspections under this subsection until such time as the governing body shall adopt and send to the commissioner an appropriate resolution.† A local enforcing agency that elects to inspect high-rise structures and life hazard uses may issue the certificates of inspection required to be issued pursuant to section 14 of this act and may inspect buildings and premises other than high-rise structures and life hazard uses in order to secure compliance with this act.

†††† c.†††† The commissioner shall certify fire inspectors under this act in accordance with such standards as he shall establish by regulation; provided that a fire inspector certificate shall be issued by the commissioner to any person who:† on the effective date of this act is, and for at least one year prior to the effective date of this act has been, serving as a fire inspector in the fire service;† or shall have, within two years of the effective date of this act, successfully completed an educational program such as the basic fire prevention code course offered by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International or a recognized equivalent, a fire prevention course offered by an institution of higher education or recognized fire school which has been approved by the commissioner.

†††† d.††† In order to cover the cost to the municipality of providing insurance or other benefits provided to volunteer firefighters under N.J.S.40A:10-29 and N.J.S.40A:10-30, the municipality may, by ordinance, establish a 1[$1]1 surcharge for each inspection for which a fee is charged pursuant to subsection a. of this section.† Funds raised from the 1[$1]1 surcharge shall be paid into the treasury of the municipality to which the local enforcing agency is responsible.

(cf: P.L.1983, c.383, s.12)

 

†††† 1[5.] 4.1†††† This act shall take effect immediately.