Chapter 143: VOLUNTEER PEACE OFFICERS DEPENDENTS

143.01 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Killed in the line of duty" means either of the following:

(1) Death in the line of duty;

(2) Death from injury sustained in the line of duty, including heart attack or other fatal injury or illness caused while in the line of duty.

(B) "Totally and permanently disabled" means unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment for a period of not less than twelve months by reason of a medically determinable physical impairment that is permanent or presumed to be permanent.

(C) "Volunteer peace officer" means any person who is employed as a police officer, sheriff's deputy, constable, or deputy marshal in a part-time, reserve, or volunteer capacity by a county sheriff's department or the police department of a municipal corporation, township, township police district, or joint police district and is not a member of the public employees retirement system, Ohio police and fire pension fund, state highway patrol retirement system, or the Cincinnati retirement system.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.02 Volunteer peace officers dependents fund.

(A) There is hereby established the volunteer peace officers dependents fund.

Each county, municipal corporation, township, township police district, and joint police district with a police or sheriff's department that employs volunteer peace officers is a member of the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund and shall establish a volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board. Each board shall consist of the following board members:

(1) Two board members, elected by the legislative authority of the fund member that maintains the police or sheriff's department;

(2) Two board members, elected by the volunteer peace officers of the police or sheriff's department;

(3) One board member, elected by the board members elected pursuant to divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section. The board member must be an elector of the fund member in which the police or sheriff's department is located, but not a public employee, member of the legislative authority, or peace officer of that police or sheriff's department.

(B) The term of office of a board member begins the first day of January and is one year.

(C)

(1) The election of the board members specified in division (A)(1) of this section shall be held each year not earlier than the first day of November and not later than the second Monday in December. The election of the member specified in division (A)(3) of this section shall be held each year on or before the thirty-first day of December.

(2) The members specified in division (A)(2) of this section shall be elected on or before the second Monday in December, as follows:

(a) The secretary of the board shall give notice of the election by posting it in a conspicuous place at the headquarters of the police or sheriff's department. Between nine a.m. and nine p.m. on the day designated, each person eligible t o vote shall send in writing the name of two persons eligible to be elected to the board who are the person's choices.

(b) All votes cast at the election shall be counted and recorded by the board, which shall announce the result. The two persons receiving the highest number of votes are elected. If there is a tie vote for any two persons, the election shall be decided by lot or in any other way agreed on by the persons for whom the tie vote was cast.

(D) Any vacancy occurring on a board shall be filled at a special election called by the board's secretary.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.03 Volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board.

A volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board shall meet promptly after election of the board's members and organize. The board shall select from among its members a chairperson and a secretary.

The secretary of the board shall keep a complete record of the board's proceedings, which shall be maintained as a permanent file.

Board members shall serve without compensation.

The legislative authority of the fund member shall provide sufficient meeting space and supplies for the board to carry out its duties.

The secretary shall submit all of the following to the director of commerce:

(A) The name and address of each board member and an indication of the group or authority that elected the member;

(B) The names of the chairperson and secretary;

(C) A certificate indicating the current assessed property valuation of the fund member that is prepared by the clerk of the fund member.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.04 Rules.

Each volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board may adopt rules as necessary for handling and processing claims for benefits.

The board shall perform such other duties as are necessary to implement this chapter.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.05 Legal advisor.

The prosecuting attorney of the county in which a fund member is located shall serve as the legal advisor for the volunteer peace officer's dependents' board.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.06 Maintenance of fund; initial premiums.

(A) The volunteer peace officers' dependents fund shall be maintained in the state treasury. All investment earnings of the fund shall be collected by the treasurer of state and placed to the credit of the fund.

(B) Each fund member shall pay to the treasurer of state, to the credit of the fund, an initial premium as follows:

(1) Each member with an assessed property valuation of less than seven million dollars, three hundred dollars;

(2) Each member with an assessed property valuation of seven million dollars but less than fourteen million dollars, three hundred fifty dollars;

(3) Each member with an assessed property valuation of fourteen million dollars but less than twenty-one million dollars, four hundred dollars;

(4) Each member with an assessed property valuation of twenty-one million dollars but less than twenty-eight million dollars, four hundred fifty dollars;

(5) Each member with an assessed property valuation of twenty-eight million dollars or over, five hundred dollars.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.07 Basic capital account; contributions.

The total of all initial premiums collected by the treasurer of state under section 143.06 of the Revised Code is the basic capital account of the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund. No further contributions are required of fund members until claims against the fund have reduced it to ninety-five percent or less of its basic capital account. In that event, the director of commerce shall cause the following assessments, based on current property valuation, to be made and certified to the legislative authority of each member of the fund:

(A) Each member with an assessed property valuation of less than seven million dollars, ninety dollars;

(B) Each member with an assessed property valuation of seven million dollars but less than fourteen million dollars, one hundred five dollars;

(C) Each member with an assessed property valuation of fourteen million dollars but less than twenty-one million dollars, one hundred twenty dollars;

(D) Each member with an assessed property valuation of twenty-one million dollars but less than twenty-eight million dollars, one hundred thirty-five dollars;

(E) Each member with an assessed property valuation of twenty-eight million dollars or more, one hundred fifty dollars.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.08 Failure to pay premium.

(A) If a premium is not paid as provided in section 143.06 of the Revised Code, the director of commerce shall certify the failure as an assessment against the fund member to the auditor of the county within which the member is located. The county auditor shall withhold the amount of the assessment, together with interest at the rate of six percent from the due date of the premium, from the next ensuing tax settlement due the member and pay the amount to the treasurer of state to the credit of the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund.

If the secretary of a volunteer peace officers' dependents f und board fails to submit to the director a certificate of the current assessed property valuation in accordance with section 143.03 of t he Revised Code, the director shall use division (B)(5) of section 143.06 of the Revised Code as a basis for the assessment.

(B) If a fund member does not pay the assessment provided in section 143.07 of the Revised Code within forty-five days after notice, the director shall proceed with collection in accordance with division (A) of this section.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.09 [Effective Until 9/28/2016] Payments to volunteer peace officers who are totally and permanently disabled; death benefits.

(A) A volunteer peace officer who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of discharging the duties of a volunteer peace officer shall receive a benefit from the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund of three hundred dollars per month, except that no payment shall be made to a volunteer peace officer who is receiving the officer's full salary during the time of the officer's disability.

(B) Regardless of whether the volunteer peace officer received a benefit under division (A) of t his section, death benefits shall be paid from the fund to the surviving spouse or dependent children of a volunteer peace officer who is killed in the line of duty. Death benefits shall be paid as follows:

(1) To the surviving spouse of a volunteer peace officer killed in the line of duty, an award of one thousand dollars, and in addition, a benefit of three hundred dollars per month;

(2) To the parent, guardian, or other persons on whom a child of a volunteer peace officer killed in the line of duty is dependent for chief financial support, a benefit of one hundred twenty-five dollars per month for each dependent child under age eighteen, or under age twenty-two if attending an institution of learning or training pursuant to a program designed to complete in each school year the equivalent of at least two-thirds of the full-time curriculum requirements of the institution.

(C) An individual eligible for benefits payable under this section shall file a claim for benefits with the appropriate volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board on a form provided by the board. All of the following information shall be submitted with the claim:

(1) In the case of a totally and permanently disabled volunteer peace officer, the following:

(a) The name of the police or sheriff's department for which the officer was a volunteer peace officer;

(b) The date of the injury;

(c) Satisfactory medical evidence that the officer is totally and permanently disabled.

(2) In the case of a surviving spouse or a parent, guardian, or other person in charge of a dependent child, the following:

(a) The full name of the deceased volunteer peace officer;

(b) The name of the police or sheriff's department for which the deceased officer was a volunteer peace officer;

(c) The name and address of the surviving spouse, as applicable;

(d) The names, ages, and addresses of any dependent children;

(e) Any other evidence required by the board.

(D) All claimants shall certify that neither the claimant nor the person on whose behalf the claim is filed qualifies for other benefits from any of the following based on the officer's service as a volunteer peace officer: the public employees retirement system, Ohio police and fire pension fund, state highway patrol retirement system, Cincinnati retirement system, or Ohio public safety officers death benefit fund.

(E) Initial claims shall be filed with the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board of t he fund member in which the officer was a volunteer peace officer. Thereafter, on request of t he claimant or the board, claims may be transferred to a board near the claimant's current residence, if t he boards concerned agree to the transfer.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.09 [Effective 9/28/2016] Payments to volunteer peace officers who are totally and permanently disabled; death benefits.

(A) A volunteer peace officer who , on or after December 22, 2015, is totally and permanently disabled as a result of discharging the duties of a volunteer peace officer shall receive a benefit from the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund of three hundred dollars per month, except that no payment shall be made to a volunteer peace officer who is receiving the officer's full salary during the time of the officer's disability.

(B)

(1) Regardless of whether the volunteer peace officer received a benefit under division (A) of this section, death benefits shall be paid from the fund as follows:

(a) To the surviving spouse a nd dependent children of a volunteer peace officer who, on or after December 22, 2015, is killed in the line of duty;

(b) If the director of commerce makes the determination that initial premiums are sufficient as described in section 143.091 of the Revised Code, to the surviving spouse and dependent children of a volunteer peace officer who, on or after January 1, 2012, but before December 22, 2015, was killed in the line of duty.

(2) Death benefits shall be paid as follows:

(a) To the surviving spouse of a volunteer peace officer killed in the line of duty, an award of one thousand dollars, and in addition, a benefit of three hundred dollars per month;

(b) To the parent, guardian, or other persons on whom a child of a volunteer peace officer killed in the line of duty is dependent for chief financial support, a benefit of one hundred twenty-five dollars per month for each dependent child under age eighteen, or under age twenty-two if attending an institution of learning or training pursuant to a program designed to complete in each school year the equivalent of at least two-thirds of the full-time curriculum requirements of the institution.

(C) An individual eligible for benefits payable under this section shall file a claim for benefits with the appropriate volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board on a form provided by the board. All of the following information shall be submitted with the claim:

(1) In the case of a totally and permanently disabled volunteer peace officer, the following:

(a) The name of the police or sheriff's department for which the officer was a volunteer peace officer;

(b) The date of the injury;

(c) Satisfactory medical evidence that the officer is totally and permanently disabled.

(2) In the case of a surviving spouse or a parent, guardian, or other person in charge of a dependent child, the following:

(a) The full name of the deceased volunteer peace officer;

(b) The name of the police or sheriff's department for which the deceased officer was a volunteer peace officer;

(c) The name and address of the surviving spouse, as applicable;

(d) The names, ages, and addresses of any dependent children;

(e) Any other evidence required by the board.

(D) All claimants shall certify that neither the claimant nor the person on whose behalf the claim is filed qualifies for other benefits from any of the following based on the officer's service as a volunteer peace officer: the public employees retirement system, Ohio police and fire pension fund, state highway patrol retirement system, Cincinnati retirement system, or Ohio public safety officers death benefit fund.

(E) Initial claims shall be filed with the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board of the fund member in which the officer was a volunteer peace officer. Thereafter, on request of the claimant or the board, claims may be transferred to a board near the claimant's current residence, if the boards concerned agree to the transfer.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 305, §1, eff. 9/28/2016.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.091 [Effective 9/28/2016] Initial premiums; determination of sufficiency.

(A) The director of commerce shall determine whether initial premiums paid by fund members under section 143.06 of the Revised Code are sufficient for death benefits to be paid from the volunteer peace officers' dependents fund to the individuals described in division (B) (1)(b) of section 143.09 of the Revised Code.

(B) If the director determines that initial premiums are sufficient and that no additional assessments described in section 143.07 of the Revised Code are necessary to fund the benefits, benefits shall be paid from the fund in accordance with division (B)(2) of section 143.09 of the Revised Code to those individuals.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 305, §1, eff. 9/28/2016.

143.10 Determination of validity of claim.

(A)

(1) Not later than five days after receipt of a claim for benefits, a volunteer peace officers' dependents fund board shall meet and determine the validity of the claim. If the board determines that the claim is valid, it shall make a determination of the amount due and certify its determination to the director of commerce for payment. The certificate shall show t he name and address of the board, the name and address of each beneficiary, the amount to be received by or on behalf of each beneficiary, and the name and address of the person to whom payments are to be made.

(2) If the board determines that a claimant is ineligible for benefits, the board shall deny the claim and issue to the claimant a copy of its order.

(B) The board may make a continuing order for monthly payments to a claimant for a period not exceeding three months from the date of the determination. The determination may be modified after issuance to reflect any changes in the claimant's eligibility. If no changes occur at the end of the three-month period, the director may provide for payment if the board certifies that the original certificate is continued for an additional three-month period.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.

143.11 Nature of right to benefit.

The right of an individual to a benefit under this chapter shall not be subject to execution, garnishment, attachment, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws, or other process o f law whatsoever, and shall be unassignable except as specifically provided in this chapter and sections 3105.171, 3105.65, and 3115.32 and Chapters 3119., 3121., 3123., and 3125. of the Revised Code.

Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 11, §1, eff. 3/23/2016.