HBA-SEP S.B. 850 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 850 By: Barrientos Criminal Jurisprudence 5/1/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, few state or local government entities are required to provide peace officers with disability insurance. This creates a situation in which officers who are permanently disabled by injuries sustained in the line of duty receive less financial compensation to assist in the support of their families than they would have if they had not survived. Senate Bill 850 entitles a peace officer who sustains a permanently incapacitating injury as a result of criminally injurious conduct in the performance of the officer's duties to an annual payment. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the attorney general and the comptroller in SECTION 2 (Section 56.542, Code of Criminal Procedure) of this bill. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 850 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to entitle a peace officer, employed by the state or a local governmental entity who sustains an injury as a result of criminally injurious conduct on or after September 1, 1989 in the performance of the officer's duties and presents satisfactory evidence to the attorney general that the officer's condition is a total disability resulting in permanent incapacity for work and has persisted for more than 12 months, to an annual payment equal to the difference between any amounts received by the officer on account of the injury or disability from other sources of income and an amount equal to the officer's average annual salary during the officer's final three years as a peace officer. The bill provides that the amount of the annual payment is subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and sets forth provisions regarding computation of the cost-of-living adjustment and of an initial payment. To receive the payment, the peace officer must furnish evidence of the injury and other necessary information to the attorney general who is authorized to approve the application for payment, subject to judicial review, with or without a hearing. The bill authorizes the attorney general to appoint a panel of physicians to periodically review each application to ensure the validity of the application and the necessity of continued assistance to the peace officer. The bill requires the attorney general to notify the comptroller of the attorney general's determination that a claim is valid and justifies payment. The comptroller is then required to issue a warrant to or in behalf of the claimant in the proper amount from the compensation to victims of crime fund. The bill also requires the attorney general and the comptroller to adopt, by rule, a memorandum of understanding to establish procedures under which annual payments continue to a peace officer until assistance is no longer necessary. The provision requiring a claimant or victim to file an application not later than three years from the date of the criminally injurious conduct and the limits on compensation do not apply. The total aggregate amount of all annual payments made to an individual peace officer may not exceed $200,000. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.