UNOFFICIAL COPY AS OF 04/10/16 10 REG. SESS. 10 RS HB 366/GA
AN ACT relating to crime victims.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Section 1. KRS 346.020 is amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Board" means the Crime Victims Compensation Board;
(2) "Child" means any person less than eighteen (18) years of age;
(3) "Claimant" means any of the following claiming compensation under this chapter: a victim, a dependent of a deceased victim, a member of the victim's family[a third person other than a collateral source], or a[an authorized] person[ acting on behalf of any of them] who is legally responsible for paying the expenses incurred by the victim as a result of the crime committed against the victim;
(4) "Criminally injurious conduct" means conduct that occurs or is attempted in this jurisdiction, poses a substantial threat of personal physical, psychological injury, or death, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or death. Criminally injurious conduct shall include an act of terrorism, as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 2331, committed outside of the United States against a resident of Kentucky. Acts which, but for the insanity or mental irresponsibility or lack of capacity of the perpetrator, would constitute criminal conduct shall be deemed to be criminally injurious conduct. The operation of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, train, boat, aircraft, or other vehicle in violation of law does not constitute a criminally injurious conduct unless the injury or death was intentionally inflicted or involved a violation of KRS 189A.010, driving under the influence;
(5) "Family," when used with reference to a person, shall mean:
(a) Any person related to such person within the third degree of consanguinity;
(b) Any person maintaining a sexual relationship with such person; or
(6) (a) "Victim" means a needy person who suffers personal physical or psychological injury or death from a criminal act in Kentucky as a result of:
1. Criminally injurious conduct;
2. A good faith effort to prevent criminally injurious conduct; or
3. A good faith effort to apprehend a person reasonably suspected of engaging in criminally injurious conduct.
(b) "Victim" shall also mean a resident who is a victim of a crime occurring outside this state if:
1. The crime would be compensable had it occurred inside this state; and
2. The crime occurred in a state which does not have a crime victim compensation program, for which the victim is eligible as eligibility is set forth in KRS 346.050.
(c) "Victim" shall also mean a resident of this state who is injured or killed by an act of terrorism, as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 2331, committed outside the United States.
Section 2. KRS 346.050 is amended to read as follows:
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the following persons shall be eligible for awards pursuant to this chapter:
(a) A victim of criminally injurious conduct;
(b) A surviving spouse, parent, or child of a victim of criminally injurious conduct who died as a direct result of such conduct;
(c) A member of the victim's family;
(d) Any other person dependent for his principal support upon a victim of criminally injurious conduct who died as a direct result of such crime; and
(e)[(d)] Any person who is legally responsible for the eligible[medical expenses or funeral]expenses of a victim, as set forth in Section 4 of this Act.
(2) No victim or dependent shall be denied compensation solely because he is a relative of the offender or was living with the offender as a family or household member at the time of the injury or death. However, the board may award compensation to a victim or dependent who is a relative, family or household member of the offender only if the board can reasonably determine the offender will not receive significant economic benefit or unjust enrichment from the compensation.
(3) No compensation of any kind shall be awarded when injury occurred while the victim was confined in any federal, state, county, urban-county, or city jail, prison, or other correctional facility, or any state institution maintained and operated by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Section 3. KRS 346.100 is amended to read as follows:
Following the initial filing of a claim, if a claimant or victim, within thirty (30) days after notification, does not take such further steps as may be necessary to support or perfect the claim as may be required by the board or its staff[within thirty (30) days after such requirement is made by the board], then the claimant or victim shall be deemed in default. In such case the board may[shall] summarily deny the claim and the claimant or victim may[shall] be forever barred from reasserting the claim. The board may remit such proceedings on good cause shown that the failure to take the steps required by the board or its staff was totally and completely beyond the control of the claimant or victim.
Section 4. KRS 346.130 is amended to read as follows:
(1) No award shall be made unless the board or board member, as the case may be, finds that:
(b) Such criminally injurious conduct resulted in personal physical or psychological injury to, or death of, the victim; and
(c) Police or court records show that such crime was promptly reported to the proper authorities; and in no case may an award be made where the police or court records show that such report was made more than forty-eight (48) hours after the occurrence of such crime unless the board, for good cause shown, finds the delay in filing a report or failure to file a report to have been justified.
(2) The board upon finding that the claimant or victim has not fully cooperated with appropriate law enforcement agencies shall deny, reconsider, or reduce an award.
(3) Any award made pursuant to this chapter shall be in an amount not exceeding out-of-pocket expenses, including indebtedness reasonably incurred for medical or other services, including mental health counseling, necessary as a result of the injury upon which the claim is based, together with loss of earnings or support resulting from such injury. Mental health counseling shall be paid for a maximum of two (2) cumulative years, but only after proper documentation is submitted to the board stating what treatment is planned and for what period of time. The board shall have the power to discontinue payment of mental health counseling at any time within the cumulative two (2) year period. Replacement of eyeglasses and other corrective lenses shall be included in an award, provided they were stolen, destroyed,[broken] or damaged during the crime.
(4) Any award made for loss of earnings or support shall, unless reduced pursuant to other provisions of this chapter be in an amount equal to net earnings at the time of the criminally injurious conduct[the actual loss sustained]; provided, however, that no such award shall exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for each week of lost earnings or support. The claimant or victim must have been employed at the time the crime occurred. Said employment shall be verified by the staff of the board after information is provided by the claimant or victim. Should the claimant or victim fail to supply the board with the information requested, the portion of the claim for lost wages or support shall be denied. If there are two (2) or more persons entitled to an award as a result of the injury or death of a person which is the direct result of criminally injurious conduct, the award shall be apportioned by the board among the claimants.
(5) The board is authorized to set a reasonable limit for the payment of funeral and burial expenses which shall include funeral costs, a monument, and grave plot. In no event shall an award for funeral expenses exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(6) Any award made under this chapter shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in total compensation to be received by the claimant from the fund.
Section 5. KRS 346.140 is amended to read as follows:
(1) Any award made pursuant to this chapter shall be reduced by the amount of any payments received or to be received by the claimant as a result of the injury from the following sources:
(a) From or on behalf of the person who committed the crime;
(b) Under insurance programs mandated by law;
(c) From public funds;
(d) Under any contract of insurance wherein the claimant is the insured or beneficiary;[ and]
(e) As an emergency award pursuant to KRS 346.120;
(f) From contributions or monetary gifts made to or on behalf of the victim or claimant to pay debt related to the victim's or claimant's eligible expenses as set forth in Section 4 of this Act; and
(g) As bill adjustments made by a service provider or vendor.
(2) In determining the amount of an award, the board or board member, as the case may be shall determine whether, because of his conduct, the victim of such crime contributed to the infliction of his injury, and the board or board member shall reduce the amount of the award or reject the claim altogether, in accordance with such determination; provided, however, that the board or board member[, as the case may be,] may disregard for this purpose the responsibility of the victim for his own injury where the record shows that such responsibility was attributable to efforts by the victim to prevent a crime or an attempted crime from occurrence in his presence or to apprehend a person who had committed a crime in his presence or had in fact committed a felony. The board or board members may request that either the county attorney or Commonwealth's attorney or both state whether in their opinion, the victim suffered injuries as the result of a crime and has cooperated with the prosecution and law enforcement authorities. The board or board member shall not be bound by such opinions and recommendations and if needed may order a further investigation of the claim.
(3) The board or board member may consider whether the claimant's injuries were the ordinary and foreseeable result of unlawful and criminal activities in determining the claimant's eligibility for an award.
(4) If the board or board member[, as the case may be,] finds that the claimant will not suffer serious financial hardships[, as a result of the loss of earnings or support and the out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury,] if not granted financial assistance pursuant to this chapter to meet the eligible expenses set forth in Section 4 of this Act[such loss of earnings, support or out-of-pocket expenses], the board or board member may[shall] deny an award. In determining such serious financial hardship, the board or board member shall consider all of the financial resources of the claimant. The board shall establish specific standards by rule for determining such serious financial hardships.