HBA-TBM, CCH C.S.H.B. 877 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 877 By: Flores Appropriations 4/17/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) does not provide benefits to the surviving spouses and minor children (survivor) of state peace officers or employees of the institutional division or state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (employees) killed in the line of duty, who have not yet vested in ERS at the time of death. Providing survivor benefits to the beneficiaries of deceased officers and employees would help to ease the financial burden that compounds a surviving family's emotional difficulties. C.S.H.B. 877 provides survivor benefits for the family of state peace officers and employees killed in the line of duty. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 877 amends the Government Code relating to the benefits provided to the surviving spouse or minor children of a peace officer or an employee of the institutional division or state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (employee) killed in the line of duty who had not qualified for an annuity under an employees' retirement plan. The bill requires the state to pay for the deceased officer or employee's funeral expenses and the greater of monthly annuity payments that the deceased officer or employee would have received had the officer or employee survived and retired on the last day of the month in which the officer or employee died, or the minimum monthly annuity payment the deceased officer or employee would have received if the officer or employee had been employed by the state for 10 years, had been paid a salary at the lowest amount provided by the General Appropriations Act for a peace officer or employee, and had been eligible to retire under the Employees Retirement System of Texas. The bill entitles a surviving spouse to receive monthly payments until the surviving spouse remarries, becomes eligible for retirement under an employees' retirement plan, or becomes eligible for Social Security benefits. If an eligible surviving spouse does not exist, the state is required to pay the funeral expenses of the deceased officer or employee to the guardian or legal representative of any surviving minor children. These benefits supplement any other benefits provided under current law. This Act applies only to a peace officer or employee killed in the line of duty on or after September 1, 2001. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 877 differs from the original by requiring the state to also pay survivor benefits for an employee of the institutional division or state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice who was killed in the line of duty. The substitute no longer amends the Tax Code and removes provisions regarding a bullet tax.