7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies provisions related to mental health professionals.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ creates and modifies definitions;
13 ▸ modifies state postretirement reemployment restrictions for a retiree who was a
14 mental health therapist or substance use disorder counselor;
15 ▸ expands the Utah Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program to apply to
16 certain mental health professionals; and
17 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
18 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20 Other Special Clauses:
21 This bill provides a special effective date.
22 Utah Code Sections Affected:
24 26-46-101, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 56
25 26-46-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 56
26 49-11-1202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 449
27 49-11-1205, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2021, Chapter 193
29 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30 Section 1. Section 26-46-101 is amended to read:
31 26-46-101. Definitions.
32 (1) "Eligible professional" means a geriatric professional [
33 professional, or a mental health professional who is eligible to participate in the program.
34 (2) "Geriatric professional" means a person who:
35 (a) is a licensed:
36 (i) health care professional;
37 (ii) social worker;
38 (iii) occupational therapist;
39 (iv) pharmacist;
40 (v) physical therapist; or
41 (vi) psychologist; and
42 (b) is determined by the department to have adequate advanced training in geriatrics to
43 prepare the person to provide specialized geriatric care within the scope of the person's
45 (3) "Health care professional" means:
46 (a) a licensed:
47 (i) physician;
48 (ii) physician assistant;
49 (iii) nurse; or
50 (iv) dentist; or
52 (b) another licensed health care professional designated by the department by rule
53 made in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
54 (4) "Mental health professional" means:
55 (a) a mental health therapist, as defined in Section 58-60-102; or
56 (b) an individual practicing within the scope of practice described in Title 58, Chapter
57 60, Part 5, Substance Use Disorder Counselor Act.
59 Program created in Section 26-46-102.
61 underserved by health care professionals, based upon the results of a needs assessment
62 developed by the department in consultation with the Utah Health Care Workforce Financial
63 Assistance Program Advisory Committee created under Section 26-46-103.
64 Section 2. Section 26-46-102 is amended to read:
65 26-46-102. Creation of program -- Duties of department.
66 (1) There is created within the department the Utah Health Care Workforce Financial
67 Assistance Program to provide, within funding appropriated by the Legislature for the
68 following purposes:
69 (a) professional education scholarships and loan repayment assistance to health care
70 professionals and mental health professionals who locate or continue to practice in underserved
71 areas; and
72 (b) loan repayment assistance to geriatric professionals who locate or continue to
73 practice in underserved areas.
74 (2) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the
75 department shall make rules governing the administration of the program, including rules that
77 (a) application procedures;
78 (b) eligibility criteria;
79 (c) selection criteria;
80 (d) service conditions, which at a minimum shall include professional service in an
81 underserved area for a minimum period of time by any [
82 scholarship or loan repayment assistance;
83 (e) penalties for failure to comply with service conditions or other terms of a
84 scholarship or loan repayment contract;
85 (f) criteria for modifying or waiving service conditions or penalties in case of extreme
86 hardship or other good cause; and
87 (g) administration of contracts entered into before the effective date of this act,
88 between the department and scholarship or loan repayment recipients, as authorized by law.
89 (3) The department may provide education loan repayment assistance to an eligible
90 professional if the eligible professional:
91 (a) agrees to practice in an underserved area for the duration of the eligible
92 professional's participation in the program; and
93 (b) submits a written commitment from the health care facility employing the eligible
94 professional that the health care facility will provide education loan repayment assistance to the
95 eligible professional in an amount equal to 20% of the total award amount provided to the
96 eligible professional.
97 (4) The department shall seek and consider the recommendations of the Utah Health
98 Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program Advisory Committee created under Section
99 26-46-103 as [
100 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, to administer the program.
101 (5) Funding for the program:
102 (a) shall be a line item within the appropriations act;
103 (b) shall be nonlapsing unless designated otherwise by the Legislature; and
104 (c) may be used to cover administrative costs of the program, including reimbursement
105 expenses of the Utah Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program Advisory
106 Committee created under Section 26-46-103.
107 (6) Refunds for loan repayment assistance, penalties for breach of contract, and other
108 payments to the program are dedicated credits to the program.
109 (7) The department shall prepare an annual report on the revenues, expenditures, and
110 outcomes of the program.
111 Section 3. Section 49-11-1202 is amended to read:
112 49-11-1202. Definitions.
113 As used in this part:
114 (1) (a) "Affiliated emergency services worker" means a person who:
115 (i) is employed by a participating employer;
116 (ii) performs emergency services for another participating employer that is a different
118 (iii) is trained in techniques and skills required for the emergency service;
119 (iv) continues to receive regular training required for the service;
120 (v) is on the rolls as a trained affiliated emergency services worker of the participating
121 employer; and
122 (vi) provides ongoing service for a participating employer, which service may include
123 service as a volunteer firefighter, reserve law enforcement officer, search and rescue worker,
124 emergency medical technician, ambulance worker, park ranger, or public utilities worker.
125 (b) "Affiliated emergency services worker" does not include a person who performs
126 work or service but does not meet the requirements of Subsection (1)(a).
127 (2) "Amortization rate" means the amortization rate, as defined in Section 49-11-102,
128 to be applied to the system that would have covered the retiree if the retiree's reemployed
129 position were deemed to be an eligible, full-time position within that system.
130 (3) "Mental health professional" means:
131 (a) a mental health therapist, as defined in Section 58-60-102; or
132 (b) an individual practicing within the scope of practice described in Title 58, Chapter
133 60, Part 5, Substance Use Disorder Counselor Act.
134 (4) "Mental health professional retiree" means a retiree who:
135 (a) is, at the time of retirement, a mental health professional; and
136 (b) retires from the system described in:
137 (i) Chapter 12, Public Employees' Contributory Retirement Act;
138 (ii) Chapter 13, Public Employees' Noncontributory Retirement Act; or
139 (iii) Chapter 22, New Public Employees' Tier II Contributory Retirement Act.
141 (a) serves in a position:
142 (i) as a member of a board, commission, council, committee, panel, or other body of a
143 participating employer; and
144 (ii) that is designated in the participating employer's governing statute, charter, creation
145 document, or similar document;
146 (b) is appointed or elected to the position for a definite and fixed term of office by
147 official and duly recorded action of the participating employer;
148 (c) except for the service in the position, does not perform other work or service for
149 compensation for the participating employer, whether as an employee or under a contract; and
150 (d) retires from a participating employer that is different than the participating
151 employer with the position in which the person serves.
153 performed for a participating employer after retirement, in exchange for compensation.
154 (b) Reemployment includes work or service performed on a contract for a participating
155 employer if the retiree is:
156 (i) listed as the contractor; or
157 (ii) an owner, partner, or principal of the contractor.
159 (a) means a person who:
160 (i) retired from a participating employer; and
161 (ii) begins reemployment on or after July 1, 2010, with a participating employer; and
162 (b) does not include a person:
163 (i) (A) who was reemployed by a participating employer before July 1, 2010; and
164 (B) whose participating employer that reemployed the person under Subsection [
165 (7)(b)(i)(A) was dissolved, consolidated, merged, or structurally changed in accordance with
166 Section 49-11-621 on or after July 1, 2010; or
167 (ii) who is working under a phased retirement agreement in accordance with [
168 Chapter 11, Part 13, Phased Retirement.
169 Section 4. Section 49-11-1205 is amended to read:
170 49-11-1205. Postretirement reemployment restriction exceptions.
171 (1) (a) The office may not cancel the retirement allowance of a retiree who is
172 reemployed with a participating employer within one year of the retiree's retirement date [
173 (i) if the retiree is not reemployed by a participating employer for a period of at least 60
174 days from the retiree's retirement date;
175 (ii) if, upon reemployment after the break in service under Subsection (1)(a)(i), the
176 retiree does not receive any employer paid benefits, including:
177 (A) retirement service credit or retirement-related contributions;
178 (B) medical benefits;
179 (C) dental benefits;
180 (D) other insurance benefits except for workers' compensation as provided under Title
181 34A, Chapter 2, Workers' Compensation Act, Title 34A, Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease
182 Act, and withholdings required by federal or state law for social security, Medicare, and
183 unemployment insurance; or
184 (E) paid time off, including sick, annual, or other type of leave; and
185 (iii) (A) if the retiree is not a mental health professional retiree, the retiree [
187 the lesser of $15,000 or one-half of the retiree's final average salary upon which the retiree's
188 retirement allowance is based; [
189 (B) if the retiree is a mental health professional retiree, the retiree earns in any calendar
190 year of reemployment an amount no more than $30,000; or
192 (b) The board shall adjust the amounts under Subsection (1)(a)(iii) by the annual
193 change in the Consumer Price Index during the previous calendar year as measured by a United
194 States Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index average as determined by the board.
195 (2) A retiree shall be considered as having completed the one-year separation from
196 employment with a participating employer required under Section 49-11-1204, if the retiree:
197 (a) before retiring:
198 (i) was employed with a participating employer as a public safety service employee as
199 defined in Section 49-14-102, 49-15-102, or 49-23-102;
200 (ii) during the employment under Subsection (2)(a)(i), suffered a physical injury
201 resulting from external force or violence while performing the duties of the employment, for
202 which injury the retiree would have been approved for total disability in accordance with the
203 provisions under Chapter 21, Public Employees' Long-Term Disability Act, if years of service
204 are not considered;
205 (iii) had less than 30 years of service credit but had sufficient service credit to retire,
206 with an unreduced allowance making the public safety service employee ineligible for
207 long-term disability payments under Chapter 21, Public Employees' Long-Term Disability Act,
208 or a substantially similar long-term disability program;
209 (iv) does not receive any long-term disability benefits from any participating employer;
211 (v) is at least 50 years old; and
212 (b) is reemployed by a different participating employer.
213 (3) (a) The office may not cancel the retirement allowance of a retiree who is employed
214 as an affiliated emergency services worker within one year of the retiree's retirement date if the
215 affiliated emergency services worker does not receive any compensation, except for:
216 (i) a nominal fee, stipend, discount, tax credit, voucher, or other fixed sum of money or
217 cash equivalent payment not tied to productivity and paid periodically for services;
218 (ii) a length-of-service award;
219 (iii) insurance policy premiums paid by the participating employer in the event of death
220 of an affiliated emergency services worker or a line-of-duty accidental death or disability; or
221 (iv) reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of duties.
222 (b) For purposes of Subsections (3)(a)(i) and (ii), the total amount of any discounts, tax
223 credits, vouchers, and payments to an affiliated emergency services worker may not exceed
224 $500 per month.
225 (c) The board shall adjust the amount under Subsection (3)(b) by the annual change in
226 the Consumer Price Index during the previous calendar year as measured by a United States
227 Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index average as determined by the board.
228 (d) A retiree is eligible for an exemption from the requirement to cease service without
229 cancellation of a retirement allowance under this Subsection (3) only if the retiree, at the time
230 of retirement, is at least:
231 (i) 50 years old, if the retiree is retiring from a public safety system or a firefighter
232 system; or
233 (ii) 55 years old.
234 (4) (a) The office may not cancel the retirement allowance of a retiree employed as a
235 part-time appointed or elected board member within one year after the retiree's retirement date
236 if the part-time appointed or elected board member does not receive any compensation
237 exceeding the amount described in this Subsection (4).
238 (b) A retiree who is a part-time appointed or elected board member for one or more
239 boards, commissions, councils, committees, panels, or other bodies of participating employers:
240 (i) may receive an aggregate amount of compensation, remuneration, a stipend, or other
241 benefit for service on a single or multiple boards, commissions, councils, committees, panels,
242 or other bodies of no more than $5,000 per year; and
243 (ii) may not receive an employer paid retirement service credit or retirement-related
245 (c) For purposes of Subsection (4)(b)(i):
246 (i) a part-time appointed or elected board member's compensation includes:
247 (A) an amount paid for the part-time appointed or elected board member's coverage in
248 a group insurance plan provided by the participating employer; and
249 (B) the part-time appointed or elected board member's receipt of any other benefit
250 provided by the participating employer; and
251 (ii) the part-time appointed or elected board member's compensation does not include:
252 (A) an amount the participating employer pays for employer-matching employment
253 taxes, if the participating employer treats the part-time appointed or elected board member as
254 an employee for federal tax purposes; or
255 (B) an amount that the part-time appointed or elected board member receives for per
256 diem and travel expenses for up to 12 approved meetings or activities of the government board
257 per year, if the per diem and travel expenses do not exceed the amounts established by the
258 Division of Finance under Sections 63A-3-106 and 63A-3-107 or by rules made by the
259 Division of Finance according to Sections 63A-3-106 and 63A-3-107.
260 (d) The board shall adjust the amount under Subsection (4)(b)(i) by the annual change
261 in the Consumer Price Index during the previous calendar year as measured by a United States
262 Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index average, as determined by the board.
263 (5) (a) If a retiree is reemployed under the provisions of Subsection (1) or (4), the
264 termination date of the reemployment, as confirmed in writing by the participating employer, is
265 considered the retiree's retirement date for the purpose of calculating the separation
266 requirement under Section 49-11-1204.
267 (b) The office shall cancel the retirement allowance of a retiree for the remainder of the
268 calendar year if the reemployment with a participating employer exceeds the limitation under
269 Subsection (1)(a)(iii), (3)(b), or (4)(b).
270 Section 5. Effective date.
271 (1) Except as provided in Subsection (2), this bill takes effect on May 4, 2022.
272 (2) The amendments to Sections 49-11-1202 and 49-11-1205 take effect on January 1,