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A00711 Summary:

BILL NOA00711B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01411-B
 
SPONSORGunther
 
COSPNSRKolb, Brindisi, Skoufis, Englebright, Pichardo, Blake, Hooper, Steck, Mayer, Stirpe, Thiele, Jaffee, Skartados, Lupardo, Woerner, Jenne, Zebrowski, Hunter, Cahill, Otis, Ryan, Jean-Pierre, Cusick, Gottfried, Rosenthal L, Lifton, Titus, Ramos, Barrett, Gjonaj, Bronson, Palmesano, Raia, Montesano, Graf, Lupinacci, Curran, Blankenbush, Walter, Finch, Malliotakis, Goodell, Murray, Lawrence, Garbarino, Butler, Oaks, Palumbo, DiPietro, Byrne, Norris, Lavine, D'Urso, Miller B, Brabenec, Jones, McDonald, Errigo, Wallace, Johns, Morinello, Miller ML, Pheffer Amato, Castorina, Fahy, Walker, Solages, Barron, Arroyo, Pellegrino, Nolan, Abinanti, Crespo, Rodriguez, Benedetto, Williams, DenDekker, Santabarbara, Miller MG, Carroll, Barnwell, Paulin, O'Donnell, Barclay, Morelle, Weinstein, Sepulveda, Giglio
 
MLTSPNSRBuchwald, Galef, Kearns, Magee, McDonough, McKevitt, McLaughlin, Ra, Rozic, Schimminger, Simon, Walsh
 
Add 205-cc, Gen Muni L; amd 612, Tax L
 
Relates to the New York state volunteer firefighter gap coverage cancer disability benefits act.
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A00711 Actions:

BILL NOA00711B
 
01/09/2017referred to local governments
06/09/2017amend (t) and recommit to local governments
06/09/2017print number 711a
06/14/2017amend and recommit to local governments
06/14/2017print number 711b
06/14/2017reported referred to ways and means
06/19/2017reported referred to rules
06/19/2017reported
06/19/2017rules report cal.465
06/19/2017ordered to third reading rules cal.465
06/20/2017substituted by s1411b
 S01411 AMEND=B GRIFFO
 01/09/2017REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
 01/17/2017COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
 01/17/2017ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.40
 01/24/2017PASSED SENATE
 01/24/2017DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
 01/24/2017referred to local governments
 06/12/2017RECALLED FROM ASSEMBLY
 06/12/2017returned to senate
 06/12/2017VOTE RECONSIDERED - RESTORED TO THIRD READING
 06/12/2017AMENDED ON THIRD READING (T) 1411A
 06/14/2017AMENDED ON THIRD READING 1411B
 06/19/2017REPASSED SENATE
 06/19/2017RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY
 06/19/2017referred to ways and means
 06/20/2017substituted for a711b
 06/20/2017ordered to third reading rules cal.465
 06/20/2017passed assembly
 06/20/2017returned to senate
 10/11/2017DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
 10/22/2017SIGNED CHAP.334
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A00711 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A711B
 
SPONSOR: Gunther (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law and the tax law, in relation to the "New York state volunteer firefighter gap cover- age cancer disability benefits act"   PURPOSE: To create the New York State Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disa- bility Benefits Act to provide volunteer firefighters who develop certain forms of cancer with enhanced disability benefits.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. State that this act shall be knows and cited as the New York State Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefits Act Section 2. Amends the general municipal law by adding a new section 205-CC to require that any fire district, department or company to provide and maintain an enhanced cancer disability benefit insurance program for each eligible volunteer firefighter. A volunteer firefighter will be eligible for enhanced cancer disability benefits if the following criteria is met: *The volunteer has served for at least five years as an interior fire- fighter as evidenced by passage of the mask fit test which is required of all volunteer firefighters with an interior firefighting rating; *Upon entrance into the volunteer service the volunteer firefighter successfully passed a physical examination; and *The volunteer firefighter has a disease caused by an uncontrolled divi- sion of abnormal cells in any part of the body or a malignant growth or tumor affecting the lymphatic or hematological systems or digestive, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast or reproductive systems or mela- noma. A volunteer who meets the eligibility requirements of the bill shall be eligible for the following disability benefits: *A lump sum payment of $6,250 or $25,000, depending on severity. This amount may be drawn from a pool of $50,000 which is available if there is more than one negative diagnosis over the volunteer firefighters' lifetime; *If the volunteer firefighter is totally disabled, a monthly benefit of $1,500 payable up to 36 consecutive monthly payments; and *In case of death, the volunteer firefighters' family will be eligible for an accidental death benefit in the amount of $50,000. Requires that any fire district, department or company whose member has received a disability payment under the provisions of this act to report such payments to the Office of Fire Prevention and Control. Beginning January 1, 2020, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control shall report yearly to the legislature the number of firefighters who have received benefits under this act. Authorizes the Office of Fire Prevention and Control to adopt rules and regulations as are reasonably necessary to implement the provisions of this act. Section 3. Provides that funds received by the volunteer firefighter as insurance payments for cancer benefits shall not be subject to New York State income taxes. Section 4. This act shall take effective on January 1, 2019.   EXISTING LAW: Currently, there are no health or disability protections afforded to volunteer firefighters outside of what is currently allowed for under the disability provisions in the volunteer firefighters' benefit law. Under the firefighters' benefit law, a totally disabled firefighter is limited to $600 per month in disability benefits.   JUSTIFICATION: : A series of studies over the last several years have been published which link an increased rate of cancer to firefighters. When a fire- fighter must respond to an interior fire, there are often carcinogens burning in that fire. These carcinogens come from the burning of every- day products that are engulfed in a fire. While the effectiveness of firefighter training has improved, and cancer awareness as well as prevention techniques have been highlighted, there is still a higher rate of cancer among interior firefighters. Although volunteer fire- fighters save the State of New York billions of dollars through their volunteer service, there are no adequate provisions that compensate volunteer firefighters for a risk that studies have shown exist solely because of their job. Currently, if a volunteer firefighter develops a serious form of cancer, he/she would be eligible for total disability benefits under the volunteer firefighters.' law which is limited to $600 per month. These protections are not enough to provide the peace of mind for the volunteer firefighter as well as his/her family. In many instances, volunteer firefighters have been forced to incur large out- of-pocket expenses when seeking treatment for cancer. This bill would create a gap coverage disability benefit to help volunteer firefighters offset some of these expenses.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Unknown.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.
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A00711 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         711--B
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     January 9, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. GUNTHER, KOLB, BRINDISI, SKOUFIS, ENGLEBRIGHT,
          PICHARDO, BLAKE, HOOPER, STECK, MAYER, STIRPE, THIELE, JAFFEE, SKARTA-
          DOS, SIMANOWITZ, LUPARDO, WOERNER, JENNE, ZEBROWSKI,  HUNTER,  CAHILL,
          OTIS,  RYAN, JEAN-PIERRE, CUSICK, GOTTFRIED, ROSENTHAL, LIFTON, TITUS,
          RAMOS, BARRETT, GJONAJ, BRONSON,  PALMESANO,  RAIA,  MONTESANO,  GRAF,
          LUPINACCI,  CURRAN,  BLANKENBUSH, WALTER, FINCH, MALLIOTAKIS, GOODELL,
          MURRAY, LAWRENCE, GARBARINO, BUTLER, OAKS, PALUMBO,  DiPIETRO,  BYRNE,
          NORRIS,  LAVINE, D'URSO, B. MILLER, BRABENEC, JONES, McDONALD, ERRIGO,
          WALLACE, JOHNS,  MORINELLO,  M. L. MILLER,  PHEFFER AMATO,  CASTORINA,
          FAHY,  WALKER,  SOLAGES,  BARRON, ARROYO, PELLEGRINO, NOLAN, ABINANTI,
          CRESPO,  RODRIGUEZ,  BENEDETTO,  WILLIAMS,  DenDEKKER,   SANTABARBARA,
          M. G. MILLER,  CARROLL, BARNWELL, PAULIN, O'DONNELL -- Multi-Sponsored
          by -- M. of A. BARCLAY, BUCHWALD, GALEF, KEARNS, LOPEZ,  MAGEE,  McDO-
          NOUGH,  McKEVITT,  McLAUGHLIN, RA, ROZIC, SCHIMMINGER, SIMON, WALSH --
          read once and referred  to  the  Committee  on  Local  Governments  --
          committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
          recommitted to said committee -- again reported  from  said  committee
          with  amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said
          committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the general municipal law and the tax law,  in  relation
          to the "New York state volunteer firefighter gap coverage cancer disa-
          bility benefits act"
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  the  "New  York  State  Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability
     3  Benefits Act".
     4    § 2. The general municipal law is amended  by  adding  a  new  section
     5  205-cc to read as follows:
     6    §  205-cc.  Volunteer firefighter enhanced cancer disability benefits.
     7  A legally organized fire district, department or company  shall  provide

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03660-06-7

        A. 711--B                           2
 
     1  and maintain for each eligible volunteer firefighter, an enhanced cancer
     2  disability benefit insurance program.
     3    1. Definitions. As used in this section:
     4    a. "Eligible volunteer firefighter" means:
     5    (i)  A volunteer firefighter having five or more years of faithful and
     6  actual service in the protection of life and property from fire  in  the
     7  interior of buildings and having successfully passed a physical examina-
     8  tion  on  entry  to the firefighter service, which examination failed to
     9  reveal any evidence of cancers as defined in paragraph b of this  subdi-
    10  vision; and
    11    (ii)  Having  submitted  proof  of five years of interior firefighting
    12  service by providing verification that he or she  has  passed  at  least
    13  five yearly certified mask fitting tests as set forth in 29 CFR 1910.134
    14  or  the  current National Fire Protection Association standards for mask
    15  fit testing.
    16    b. "Cancer" means:
    17    (i) A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells  in
    18  a  part  of  the  body or a malignant growth or tumor resulting from the
    19  division of abnormal cells; and
    20    (ii) Affecting the prostate or breast, lymphatic, hematological diges-
    21  tive, urinary, neurological, or reproductive systems, or melanoma.
    22    2. An eligible volunteer firefighter shall be entitled to  payment  of
    23  enhanced cancer benefits as follows:
    24    a. A lump sum benefit of twenty-five thousand dollars for each diagno-
    25  sis  payable  to such firefighter upon acceptable proof to the insurance
    26  carrier or other payor of a diagnosis by a board certified physician  in
    27  the  medical specialty appropriate for the type of cancer diagnosed that
    28  there are one or more malignant tumors characterized by the uncontrolla-
    29  ble and abnormal growth and spread of malignant cells with  invasion  of
    30  normal tissue and that either:
    31    (i) There is metastasis; and
    32    (1) surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy is medically necessary; or
    33    (2) there is a tumor of the prostate, provided that it is treated with
    34  radical prostatectomy or external beam therapy; or
    35    (ii)  The  firefighter has terminal cancer, his or her life expectancy
    36  is twenty-four months or less from the date of diagnosis, and  will  not
    37  benefit from, or has exhausted, curative therapy.
    38    b.  A  lump  sum benefit of six thousand two hundred fifty dollars for
    39  each diagnosis payable to such firefighter upon acceptable proof to  the
    40  insurance  carrier  or  other  payor of a diagnosis by a board certified
    41  physician in the medical specialty appropriate for the  type  of  cancer
    42  involved that either:
    43    (i)  There  is  carcinoma  in situ such that surgery, radiotherapy, or
    44  chemotherapy has been determined to be medically necessary;
    45    (ii) There are malignant tumors which are treated by endoscopic proce-
    46  dures alone; or
    47    (iii) There are malignant melanomas.
    48    c. A monthly benefit of one thousand five hundred  dollars,  of  which
    49  the  first  payment  shall be made six months after total disability and
    50  submission of acceptable proof  of  said  disability  to  the  insurance
    51  carrier or other payor that such disability is caused by cancer and that
    52  such  cancer  precludes  the  firefighter from serving as a firefighter.
    53  Such benefit shall continue for up  to  thirty-six  consecutive  monthly
    54  payments.
    55    (i)  Such  monthly  benefit  shall be subordinate to any other benefit
    56  actually paid to the firefighter solely for  such  disability  from  any

        A. 711--B                           3
 
     1  other  source,  not  including private insurance purchased solely by the
     2  firefighter, and shall be limited to the difference between  the  amount
     3  of such other paid benefit and the amount specified herein; and
     4    (ii)  Any  firefighter receiving such monthly benefits may be required
     5  to have his or her condition reevaluated. In the event any such reevalu-
     6  ation reveals that such person  has  regained  the  ability  to  perform
     7  duties  as  a  firefighter, then his or her monthly benefits shall cease
     8  the last day of the month of reevaluation.
     9    (iii) In the event that there is a subsequent reoccurrence of a  disa-
    10  bility  caused by cancer which precludes the firefighter from serving as
    11  a firefighter, he or she shall be  entitled  to  receive  any  remaining
    12  monthly payments.
    13    d.  An  eligible  volunteer  firefighter  shall also be entitled to an
    14  additional payment of enhanced cancer death benefits in  the  amount  of
    15  fifty  thousand dollars which is payable to such volunteer or his or her
    16  beneficiary upon acceptable proof by a board  certified  physician  that
    17  such  firefighter's  death  resulted  from complications associated with
    18  cancer.
    19    e. Provided however, an eligible volunteer firefighter shall be ineli-
    20  gible for these benefits if they are already provided  paid  firefighter
    21  benefits under this article.
    22    3.  The combined total of all benefits received by any eligible volun-
    23  teer firefighter pursuant to paragraphs a and b of  subdivision  two  of
    24  this  section during his or her lifetime shall not exceed fifty thousand
    25  dollars.
    26    4. An eligible volunteer firefighter shall remain eligible  for  bene-
    27  fits  pursuant  to  paragraphs  a,  b  and  d of subdivision two of this
    28  section for sixty months after the formal  cessation  of  the  volunteer
    29  firefighter's  status  as  an  active  volunteer  firefighter.  The fire
    30  district, department or company in which such firefighter  served  shall
    31  be  responsible  for  payment  of all premiums or other costs associated
    32  with benefits provided under paragraphs a, b and d of subdivision two of
    33  this section throughout the duration of  the  eligible  volunteer  fire-
    34  fighter's coverage.
    35    5. A fire district, department or company shall, no later than January
    36  first,  two  thousand  nineteen,  show  proof of insurance coverage that
    37  meets the requirements of this section or shall show satisfactory  proof
    38  of  the ability to pay such compensation to ensure adequate coverage for
    39  all eligible volunteer  firefighters.  Such  coverage  shall  remain  in
    40  effect until sixty months after the fire district, department or company
    41  no  longer  has  any  volunteer  firefighters who could qualify for this
    42  benefit.
    43    6. Any fire district, department or company that has had  a  volunteer
    44  firefighter  file  a  claim for or receive an enhanced cancer disability
    45  benefit under the provisions of this section shall  report  such  claims
    46  filed,  claims paid and types of claims to the office of fire prevention
    47  and control. Beginning on January first, two thousand twenty, the office
    48  of fire and prevention control shall report annually  to  the  governor,
    49  the  temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the
    50  chair of the senate finance committee and the chair of the assembly ways
    51  and means committee the number of firefighters  who  have  filed  claims
    52  pursuant  to  this  section  and  the  number  of  firefighters who have
    53  received benefits under the provisions of this section.
    54    7. The office of fire prevention and control, in consultation with the
    55  department of financial services and the  workers'  compensation  board,
    56  shall  adopt  such rules and regulations as are reasonable and necessary

        A. 711--B                           4
 
     1  to implement the provisions of this section.    Such  regulations  shall
     2  include  the  process  by  which  a  firefighter  files  a claim for the
     3  enhanced cancer disability benefit, how the beneficiary of such eligible
     4  volunteer  firefighter files a claim for the enhanced cancer death bene-
     5  fit, the process by which claimants can appeal a denial of benefits  and
     6  what proof is deemed acceptable to qualify for such benefits.
     7    § 3. Subsection (c) of section 612 of the tax law is amended by adding
     8  a new paragraph 42 to read as follows:
     9    (42)  Insurance payments received by an eligible volunteer firefighter
    10  for the cancer disability benefits in section two hundred five-cc of the
    11  general municipal law to the  extent  includable  in  gross  income  for
    12  federal income tax purposes.
    13    §  4.  This  act shall take effect January 1, 2019; provided, however,
    14  that effective immediately, the addition and/or repeal of  any  rule  or
    15  regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective
    16  date  are  authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before
    17  such effective date; and provided further, however, that the regulations
    18  required pursuant to subdivision 7 of  section  205-cc  of  the  general
    19  municipal  law as added by section two of this act shall be finalized no
    20  later than June 1, 2018.
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