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S.B. 113 Enrolled





Chief Sponsor: Howard A. Stephenson

House Sponsor: Stephen H. Urquhart

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies provisions under the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah and
             10      provisions related to the Board of Examiners.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    defines terms;
             14          .    permits the Board of Examiners to review claims against certain political
             15      subdivisions of the state;
             16          .    requires that certain unpaid or unsettled claims against certain political subdivisions
             17      be presented to the Board of Examiners; and
             18          .    raises the limitation for damages awardable against a governmental entity for
             19      multiple claims and sets a cap for the total amount awardable for multiple claims in
             20      a single occurrence.
             21      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             22          None
             23      Other Special Clauses:
             24          This bill takes effect on July 1, 2007.
             25      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             26      AMENDS:
             27          63-6-1, as last amended by Chapters 303 and 320, Laws of Utah 1983
             28          63-6-11, as last amended by Chapter 150, Laws of Utah 1963
             29          63-6-13, as last amended by Chapter 20, Laws of Utah 1995

             30          63-6-16, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             31          63-30d-604, as enacted by Chapter 267, Laws of Utah 2004
             32      Uncodified Material Affected:
             35      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             36          Section 1. Section 63-6-1 is amended to read:
             37           63-6-1. Members -- Functions.
             38          (1) As used in this chapter:
             39          (a) "Political subdivision" means any county, city, town, school district, public transit
             40      district, redevelopment agency, special improvement or taxing district, special district, an entity
             41      created by an interlocal agreement adopted under Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation
             42      Act, or other governmental subdivision or public corporation.
             43          (b) "State" means the state of Utah, and includes each office, department, division,
             44      agency, authority, commission, board, institution, college, university, Children's Justice Center,
             45      or other instrumentality of the state.
             46          (2) The governor, the state auditor, and the attorney general shall constitute a Board of
             47      Examiners, with power to examine all claims against the state or a political subdivision, for the
             48      payment of which funds appropriated by the Legislature or derived from any other source are
             49      not available.
             50          (3) No claim against the state or a political subdivision, for the payment of which
             51      specifically designated funds are required to be appropriated by the Legislature shall be passed
             52      upon by the Legislature without having been considered and acted upon by the Board of
             53      Examiners.
             54          (4) The governor shall be the president, and the state auditor shall be the secretary of
             55      the board, and in the absence of either an officer pro tempore may be elected from among the
             56      members of the board.
             57          Section 2. Section 63-6-11 is amended to read:

             58           63-6-11. Form for presentment of claim against the state or political subdivision.
             59          Any person having a claim against the state or a political subdivision, for which funds
             60      have not been provided for the payment thereof, or the settlement of which is not otherwise
             61      provided for by law, must present the same to the Board of Examiners, accompanied by a
             62      statement showing the facts constituting the claim.
             63          Section 3. Section 63-6-13 is amended to read:
             64           63-6-13. Adjustment of claims -- Recommendations to Legislature.
             65          (1) The board must, at the time designated, proceed to examine and adjust all claims
             66      referred to in Section 63-6-11 , and may hear evidence in support of or against them, and shall
             67      report to the Legislature [such] the facts and recommendations concerning them as it may think
             68      proper.
             69          (2) In making its recommendations, the board may state and use any official or
             70      personal knowledge which any member of the board may have touching such claims.
             71          (3) The board shall not pass upon or send to the Legislature any claim for which the
             72      state or a political subdivision would not otherwise be liable were it not for its sovereign
             73      immunity. [But all]
             74          (4) Notwithstanding Subsection (3), claims wherein the state or a political subdivision
             75      would be liable, were it not for its sovereign immunity, whether recommended by the board for
             76      approval or disapproval, shall be reported by the board to the Legislature with appropriate
             77      findings and recommendations as above provided.
             78          Section 4. Section 63-6-16 is amended to read:
             79           63-6-16. Reconsideration of rejected claims.
             80          The board shall not entertain for a third time a demand against the state or a political
             81      subdivision once rejected by it or by the Legislature, unless [such] the facts or reasons are
             82      presented to the board as in actions between private parties would furnish sufficient ground for
             83      granting a new trial.
             84          Section 5. Section 63-30d-604 is amended to read:
             85           63-30d-604. Limitation of judgments against governmental entity or employee --

             86      Process for adjustment of limits.
             87          (1) (a) Except as provided in Subsections (2) and (3), if a judgment for damages for
             88      personal injury against a governmental entity, or an employee whom a governmental entity has
             89      a duty to indemnify, exceeds $553,500 for one person in any one occurrence, [or $1,107,000
             90      for two or more persons in any one occurrence,] the court shall reduce the judgment to that
             91      amount.
             92          (b) A court may not award judgment of more than $553,500 for injury or death to one
             93      person regardless of whether or not the function giving rise to the injury is characterized as
             94      governmental.
             95          (c) Except as provided in Subsection (2), if a judgment for property damage against a
             96      governmental entity, or an employee whom a governmental entity has a duty to indemnify,
             97      exceeds $221,400 in any one occurrence, the court shall reduce the judgment to that amount,
             98      regardless of whether or not the function giving rise to the damage is characterized as
             99      governmental.
             100          (d) There is a $2,000,000 limit to the aggregate amount of individual awards that may
             101      be awarded in relation to a single occurrence.
             102          (2) The damage limits established in this section do not apply to damages awarded as
             103      compensation when a governmental entity has taken or damaged private property for public use
             104      without just compensation.
             105          (3) The limitations of judgments established in Subsection (1) shall be adjusted
             106      according to the methodology set forth in Subsection (4).
             107          (4) (a) Each year, the risk manager shall:
             108          (i) calculate the consumer price index as provided in Sections 1(f)(4) and 1(f)(5),
             109      Internal Revenue Code;
             110          (ii) calculate the increase or decrease in the limitation of judgment amounts established
             111      in this section as a percentage equal to the percentage difference between the consumer price
             112      index for the preceding calendar year and the consumer price index for calendar year 2003; and
             113          (iii) after making an increase or decrease under Subsection (4)(a)(ii), round up the

             114      limitation of judgment amounts established in Subsection (1) to the nearest $100.
             115          (b) Each even-numbered year after 2004, the risk manager shall make rules, which
             116      become effective no later than July 1, that establish the new limitation of judgment amounts.
             117          (c) Adjustments made by the risk manager to the limitation of judgment amounts
             118      established by this section have prospective effect only from the date the rules establishing the
             119      new limitation of judgment take effect and those adjusted limitations of judgment apply only to
             120      claims for injuries or losses that occur after the effective date of the rules that establish those
             121      new limitations of judgment.
             122          Section 6. Request for report from state risk manager.
             123          On or before October 1, 2006, the state risk manager is requested to:
             124          (1) invite the early and continued participation of all involved parties in the
             125      development of a process for the state and its political subdivisions to contribute to and
             126      administer an equitable pool for catastrophic claims made against the respective entities;
             127          (2) recommend strategies for the creation, composition, and management of a board or
             128      boards to administer a statewide catastrophic claims pool; and
             129          (3) consider and report to the Political Subdivisions Interim Committee regarding
             130      Subsections (1) and (2).
             131          Section 7. Effective date.
             132          This bill takes effect on July 1, 2007.

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