Bill Text: TX SB1582 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to benefits for peace officers relating to certain diseases or illnesses.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-2)

Status: (Passed) 2019-06-14 - Effective on 9/1/19 [SB1582 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB1582-Enrolled.html
 
 
  S.B. No. 1582
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to benefits for peace officers relating to certain
  diseases or illnesses.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 607.004(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A certified fire fighter, peace officer, or other
  governmental employee who operates an ambulance or who responds to
  emergency medical calls is entitled to preventative immunization
  for any disease to which the fire fighter, peace officer, or other
  governmental employee may be exposed in performing official duties
  and for which immunization is possible.
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Subchapter B, Chapter 607,
  Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER B. DISEASES OR ILLNESSES SUFFERED BY FIREFIGHTERS,
  PEACE OFFICERS, AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS
         SECTION 3.  Section 607.051, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subdivision (4) to read as follows:
               (4)  "Peace officer" means an individual elected,
  appointed, or employed to serve as a peace officer for a
  governmental entity under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  or other law.
         SECTION 4.  Sections 607.052(a), (b), (e), (g), and (h),
  Government Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Notwithstanding any other law, this subchapter applies
  only to a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician who:
               (1)  on becoming employed or during employment as a
  firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician,
  received a physical examination that failed to reveal evidence of
  the illness or disease for which benefits or compensation are
  sought using a presumption established by this subchapter;
               (2)  is employed for five or more years as a
  firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician; and
               (3)  seeks benefits or compensation for a disease or
  illness covered by this subchapter that is discovered during
  employment as a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician.
         (b)  A presumption under this subchapter does not apply:
               (1)  to a determination of a survivor's eligibility for
  benefits under Chapter 615;
               (2)  in a cause of action brought in a state or federal
  court except for judicial review of a proceeding in which there has
  been a grant or denial of employment-related benefits or
  compensation;
               (3)  to a determination regarding benefits or
  compensation under a life or disability insurance policy purchased
  by or on behalf of the firefighter, peace officer, or emergency
  medical technician that provides coverage in addition to any
  benefits or compensation required by law; or
               (4)  if the disease or illness for which benefits or
  compensation is sought is known to be caused by the use of tobacco
  and:
                     (A)  the firefighter, peace officer, or emergency
  medical technician is or has been a user of tobacco; or
                     (B)  the firefighter's, peace officer's, or
  emergency medical technician's spouse has, during the marriage,
  been a user of tobacco that is consumed through smoking.
         (e)  A firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician who uses a presumption established under this subchapter
  is entitled only to the benefits or compensation to which the
  firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician would
  otherwise be entitled to receive at the time the claim for benefits
  or compensation is filed.
         (g)  This subchapter applies to a firefighter, peace
  officer, or emergency medical technician who provides services as
  an employee of an entity created by an interlocal agreement.
         (h)  Subsection (b)(4) only prevents the application of the
  presumption authorized by this subchapter and does not affect the
  right of a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician to provide proof, without the use of that presumption,
  that an injury or illness occurred during the course and scope of
  employment.
         SECTION 5.  Sections 607.053(a), (c), and (d), Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician is presumed to have suffered a disability or death
  during the course and scope of employment if the firefighter, peace
  officer, or emergency medical technician:
               (1)  received preventative immunization against
  smallpox, or another disease to which the firefighter, peace
  officer, or emergency medical technician may be exposed during the
  course and scope of employment and for which immunization is
  possible; and
               (2)  suffered death or total or partial disability as a
  result of the immunization.
         (c)  A presumption established under Subsection (a) may not
  be rebutted by evidence that the immunization was:
               (1)  not required by the employer;
               (2)  not required by law; or
               (3)  received voluntarily or with the consent of the
  firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician.
         (d)  A firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician who suffers from smallpox that results in death or total
  or partial disability is presumed to have contracted the disease
  during the course and scope of employment as a firefighter, peace
  officer, or emergency medical technician.
         SECTION 6.  Section 607.054, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 607.054.  TUBERCULOSIS OR OTHER RESPIRATORY ILLNESS. A
  firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician who
  suffers from tuberculosis, or any other disease or illness of the
  lungs or respiratory tract that has a statistically positive
  correlation with service as a firefighter, peace officer, or
  emergency medical technician, that results in death or total or
  partial disability is presumed to have contracted the disease or
  illness during the course and scope of employment as a firefighter,
  peace officer, or emergency medical technician.
         SECTION 7.  Section 607.056(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician who suffers an acute myocardial infarction or stroke
  resulting in disability or death is presumed to have suffered the
  disability or death during the course and scope of employment as a
  firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician if:
               (1)  while on duty, the firefighter, peace officer, or
  emergency medical technician:
                     (A)  was engaged in a situation that involved
  nonroutine stressful or strenuous physical activity involving fire
  suppression, rescue, hazardous material response, emergency
  medical services, or other emergency response activity; or
                     (B)  participated in a training exercise that
  involved nonroutine stressful or strenuous physical activity; and
               (2)  the acute myocardial infarction or stroke occurred
  while the firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician was engaging in the activity described under Subdivision
  (1).
         SECTION 8.  Sections 607.057 and 607.058, Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 607.057.  EFFECT OF PRESUMPTION. Except as provided by
  Section 607.052(b), a presumption established under this
  subchapter applies to a determination of whether a firefighter's,
  peace officer's, or emergency medical technician's disability or
  death resulted from a disease or illness contracted in the course
  and scope of employment for purposes of benefits or compensation
  provided under another employee benefit, law, or plan, including a
  pension plan.
         Sec. 607.058.  PRESUMPTION REBUTTABLE. (a)  A presumption
  under Section 607.053, 607.054, 607.055, or 607.056 may be rebutted
  through a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that a risk
  factor, accident, hazard, or other cause not associated with the
  individual's service as a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency
  medical technician caused the individual's disease or illness.
         (b)  A rebuttal offered under this section must include a
  statement by the person offering the rebuttal that describes, in
  detail, the evidence that the person reviewed before making the
  determination that a cause not associated with the individual's
  service as a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical
  technician caused the individual's disease or illness.
         SECTION 9.  Section 409.022(d), Labor Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (d)  In this subsection, the terms "emergency medical
  technician," "firefighter," and "peace officer" [technician" and
  "firefighter"] have the meanings assigned by Section 607.051,
  Government Code.  In addition to the other requirements of this
  section, if an insurance carrier's notice of refusal to pay
  benefits under Section 409.021 is sent in response to a claim for
  compensation resulting from an emergency medical technician's,
  [or] a firefighter's, or a peace officer's disability or death for
  which a presumption is claimed to be applicable under Subchapter B,
  Chapter 607, Government Code, the notice must include a statement
  by the carrier that:
               (1)  explains why the carrier determined a presumption
  under that subchapter does not apply to the claim for compensation;
  and
               (2)  describes the evidence that the carrier reviewed
  in making the determination described by Subdivision (1).
         SECTION 10.  The changes in law made by this Act apply to a
  claim for benefits or compensation brought on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A claim for benefits or compensation
  brought before that date is covered by the law in effect on the date
  the claim was made, and that law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 11.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1582 passed the Senate on
  April 11, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 21, 2019, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1582 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 14, 2019, by the following vote: Yeas 138,
  Nays 0, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor
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