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H.B. 346

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TUITION WAIVER FOR CERTAIN STUDENTS

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IN HIGHER EDUCATION

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1997 GENERAL SESSION

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STATE OF UTAH

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Sponsor: Gene Davis

6    Melvin R. Brown




7    AN ACT RELATING TO HIGHER EDUCATION; PROVIDING FOR WAIVER OF TUITION
8    AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN AND SURVIVING
9    SPOUSES OF POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF
10    DUTY; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
11    This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
12    ENACTS:
13         53B-8b-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
14         53B-8b-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
15         53B-8b-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
16         53B-8b-104, Utah Code Annotated 1953
17    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
18        Section 1. Section 53B-8b-101 is enacted to read:
19    
CHAPTER 8b. POLICE OFFICER'S AND FIREFIGHTER'S SURVIVOR

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TUITION ACT

21         53B-8b-101. Title.
22        This chapter is known as the "Police Officer's and Firefighter's Survivor Tuition Act."
23        Section 2. Section 53B-8b-102 is enacted to read:
24         53B-8b-102. Definitions.
25        As used in this chapter:
26        (1) "Child" means an individual who:


1        (a) is a natural or adopted child of a deceased police officer or deceased firefighter; and
2        (b) was under the age of 21 at the time of the police officer's or firefighter's death.
3        (2) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.
4        (3) "Killed" means that the police officer's or firefighter's death is the direct and proximate
5    result of a traumatic injury incurred in the line of duty.
6        (4) "Line of duty" means an action that a police officer or firefighter is obligated or
7    authorized to perform by rule, regulation, condition of employment or service, or law, including
8    a social, ceremonial, or athletic function that the police officer or firefighter is assigned to or
9    compensated for by the public agency being served.
10        (5) "Occupational disease" means a disease that routinely constitutes a special hazard in,
11    or is commonly regarded as concomitant of, the police officer's or firefighter's occupation.
12        (6) "State institution of higher education" means those institutions designated in Section
13    53B-1-102.
14        (7) "Traumatic injury" means a wound or the condition of the body caused by external
15    force, including an injury inflicted by bullet, explosive, sharp instrument, blunt object, or other
16    physical blow, fire, smoke, chemical, electricity, climatic condition, infectious disease, radiation,
17    or bacteria, but excluding an occupational disease.
18        (8) "Tuition" means tuition at the rate charged for residents of the state.
19        (9) "Utah firefighter" or "firefighter" means a member, including volunteer members and
20    members paid on call, of a fire department or other organization that provides fire suppression and
21    other fire-related services, of a political subdivision who is responsible for or is in a capacity that
22    includes responsibility for the extinguishment of fires. It does not include a person whose job
23    description, duties, or responsibilities do not include direct involvement in fire suppression.
24        (10) "Utah police officer" or "police officer" means an employee of a law enforcement
25    agency that is part of or administered by the state or any of its political subdivisions, and whose
26    duties consist primarily of the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of criminal
27    statutes or ordinances of this state or any of its political subdivisions.
28        Section 3. Section 53B-8b-103 is enacted to read:
29         53B-8b-103. Tuition waivers for surviving spouses and children of police officers and
30     firefighters killed in the line of duty -- Qualifications -- Limitations.
31        (1) Beginning in the 1997-98 academic year, and subject to the limitations in Subsections

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1    (2), (3), and (4) of this section, a state institution of higher education shall waive tuition for each
2    child and surviving spouse of a Utah police officer or Utah firefighter who has been killed or is
3    killed in the line of duty if the individual meets the following requirements:
4        (a) applies, qualifies, and is admitted as a full-time, part-time, or summer school student
5    in a program of study leading to a degree or certificate;
6        (b) is a resident student of the state as determined under Section 53B-8-102;
7        (c) applies to the department for a waiver of tuition under this chapter and provides
8    evidence satisfactory to the department that:
9        (i) the applicant is the surviving spouse or child of a police officer or firefighter who was
10    killed in the line of duty;
11        (ii) the course or courses for which the applicant is seeking a tuition waiver meet the
12    requirements of Subsection (2); and
13        (iii) the applicant meets the other requirements of this section;
14        (d) for a child of a police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty, applies under
15    Subsection (1)(c) for the first time before the age of 25;
16        (e) is certified by the financial aid officer at the higher education institution as needing the
17    tuition waiver in order to meet recognized educational expenses, with the understanding that if the
18    applicant's family income, excluding any income from death benefits attributable to the police
19    officer's or firefighter's death, is below 400% of the poverty level under federal poverty guidelines,
20    income from any death benefits accruing to the applicant as a result of the death may not be
21    counted as family income in determining financial need under this Subsection (1)(e);
22        (f) maintains satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the institution of higher
23    education, for each term or semester in which the individual is enrolled, which may be measured
24    by the definition used for federal student assistance programs under Title IV of the Higher
25    Education Act of 1965; and
26        (g) has not achieved a bachelor's degree and has received tuition reimbursement under this
27    chapter for less than 124 semester credits or 180 quarter credits at an institution of higher
28    education.
29        (2) A child or surviving spouse of a police officer or firefighter who was killed in the line
30    of duty is eligible for a tuition waiver under this section of not more than nine semesters or the
31    equivalent number of quarters.

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1        (3) Tuition shall be waived only to the extent that the tuition is not covered or paid by any
2    scholarship, trust fund, statutory benefit, or any other source of tuition coverage available for a
3    waiver under this chapter.
4        (4) An institution of higher education shall waive tuition under this chapter only for
5    courses that are applicable toward the degree or certificate requirements of the program in which
6    the child or surviving spouse is enrolled.
7        Section 4. Section 53B-8b-104 is enacted to read:
8         53B-8b-104. Notice of tuition waiver approval -- Annual appropriation.
9        (1) Upon receiving an application under Subsection 53B-8b-103(1)(c), the department
10    shall determine whether the applicant and the courses for which tuition waiver is sought meet the
11    requirements of Section 53B-8b-103 and, if so, shall approve the application and notify the higher
12    education institution that the application has been approved.
13        (2) The department shall provide the necessary forms and applications and cooperate with
14    the state's institutions of higher education in developing efficient procedures for the
15    implementation of this chapter.
16        (3) The department shall annually report to the Legislature's Higher Education
17    Appropriations Subcommittee on the number of individuals for whom tuition has been waived at
18    each institution and the total amounts paid under this chapter for the fiscal year.
19        (4) The Legislature shall annually appropriate the funds necessary to implement this
20    chapter, including moneys to offset the tuition waivers at each institution.
21        Section 5. Effective date.
22        This act takes effect on July 1, 1997.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-5-97 12:23 PM


A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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