SB 289
Modifies provisions relating to peace officer licensure
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/13/2021 - H Informal Calendar Senate Bills for Third Reading w/HS for HCS
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2021
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

HCS/SS/SCS/SB 289 - This act modifies provisions relating to public safety employees.


Under current law, an employee who has reported to the proper authorities an unlawful act or serious misconduct of his or her employer or who refuses to carry out a directive issued by his or her employer that would violate the law, shall not be discharged by his or her employer.

This act adds law enforcement agencies to the definition of employers. Additionally, this act repeals provisions that an employee is not protected under this law if:

• He or she is a supervisory, managerial, or executive employee of the employer and the unlawful act or serious misconduct reported concerns matters the employee is employed to report or provide professional opinion; or

• The proper authority to whom the employee makes his or her report is the person whom the employee claims to have committed the unlawful act or misconduct.

This act also repeals the provision that if a private right of action for damages exists under another section of law, such protected person shall have no private right of action under this act.

This provision is identical to a provision in HB 553 (2021).

VOLUNTARY FIREFIGHTER CANCER BENEFITS POOL (Sections 287.245, 320.400, & 537.620)

This act allows for the creation of a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Pool by three or more political subdivisions. Under the act, any political subdivision may make contributions to a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Pool. The board of trustees of any pool created for the purposes of this act is subject to the Sunshine Law. The pool is allowed to make payments to covered individuals based upon the type of cancer with which the covered individual was diagnosed.

Benefits may be reduced by 25% if the covered individual used a tobacco product within the 5 years immediately preceding the cancer diagnosis.

If any individual that receives benefits under this act thereafter receives workers' compensation benefits for the same injury, then the workers' compensation benefits or death benefits shall be reduced 100% by any benefits received from the pool under this act.

Furthermore, the employer in any workers' compensation claim shall be subrogated to the right of the employee or to the dependent or domestic partner to receive benefits from the pool and such employer may recover any amounts which such employee or the dependent or domestic partner would have been entitled to recover from the pool under this act. Any receipt of benefits from the pool under this act shall be treated as an advance payment by the employer, on account of any future installments of workers' compensation benefits.

Any pool created for the purposes of this act may accept or apply for grants or donations from any private or public source. Furthermore, any such pool may apply for grants from the state fire marshal. This provision expires June 30, 2023.

The act also amends a provision of law relating to disbursement of grants to volunteer fire protection association workers' compensation insurance premiums for volunteer firefighters. Current law requires the State Fire Marshal to disburse such grants to any applying association. This act permits such disbursement.

These provisions are identical to SS/SB 45 (2021).

RAP BACK PROGRAM (Section 590.030)

Under current law, all licensed peace officers, as a condition of licensure, must obtain continuing law enforcement education and maintain a current address of record on file with the POST Commission.

This act provides that in addition to those requirements for licensure, peace officers must submit to being fingerprinted on or before January 1, 2022, and every six years thereafter and also submit to fingerprinting for the purposes of a criminal history background check and enrollment in the state and federal Rap Back Program.

Additionally, any time a peace officer is commissioned with a different law enforcement agency he or she must submit to being fingerprinted. The criminal history background check shall include the records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The resulting report shall be forwarded to the peace officer's law enforcement agency. The Rap Back enrollment shall be for the purposes of peace officer disciplinary reports as required by law. Law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies shall take all necessary steps to maintain officer enrollment in Rap Back for as long as an officer is commissioned with that agency. All law enforcement agencies shall enroll in the state and federal Rap Back programs on or before January 1, 2022.

This act is identical to provisions in SBs 53 & 60 (2021) and similar to HB 839 (2021).