H.P. 1229 - L.D. 1758
An Act to Amend the Victims' Compensation Fund Law
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §3360, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 806, §3, is repealed.
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §3360, sub-§4, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 806, §3, is amended to read:
4. Eligible expenses and losses. "Eligible expenses and losses" means expenses and losses resulting from a personal injury sustained by an individual as a direct result of a crime specified in subsection 3 and may include medical and medically related expenses,
which may include psychological or mental health counseling expenses, lost wages , and funeral and burial expenses ,. "Eligible expenses and losses" may include costs of eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures or other prosthetic devices taken, lost, destroyed or damaged as the direct a result of a the crime specified in subsection 3 and costs of crime scene cleanup. Expenses and losses claimed under this subsection must be expenses or losses actually and reasonably incurred.
Sec. 3. 5 MRSA §3360, sub-§6 is enacted to read:
6. Personal injury. "Personal injury" means bodily injury as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 5 or psychological injury incurred by a victim who has sustained the threat of bodily injury.
Sec. 4. 5 MRSA §3360-B, sub-§1, as amended by PL 1997, c. 378, §5, is further amended to read:
1. Eligibility of victims. The board may award compensation to any individual who:
bodily personal injury as a direct result of a crime specified in section 3360, committed within the jurisdiction of the State;
B. Has been sexually assaulted within this State in violation of Title 17-A, chapter 11 without regard to whether bodily injury or the threat of bodily injury occurred;
C. Would otherwise be eligible for compensation, even though:
(1) The criminal conduct occurred in this State but within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States;
bodily personal injury resulted from conduct that violates a criminal law of the United States; or
(3) The crime occurred in another state, but only if the person is a resident of this State and the other state does not have a victim compensation program for which residents of this State are eligible, and the person would have been eligible under this chapter if the conduct had occurred in this State; or
D. Is a resident of this State and suffers
bodily personal injury as a direct result of a crime specified in section 3360, subsection 3, paragraph F committed outside of the United States.
Sec. 5. 5 MRSA §3360-D, sub-§1, ¶A, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 806, §3, is amended to read:
A. Claims must be in writing
and under oath.
Sec. 6. 5 MRSA §3360-D, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 806, §3, is amended to read:
2. Release of records.
If required by the board, the claimant shall execute a release of medical and employment records and information enabling the board to obtain the records and information directly. A signed application for benefits under this chapter is effective under state law to authorize the release of health care, mental health, employment and wage information pertinent to the claim. Additionally, the claimant shall provide the board with other information or the release of such other information as the board determines is reasonably necessary to decide the claim.
Sec. 7. 5 MRSA §3360-E, first ¶, as amended by PL 1997, c. 378, §9, is further amended to read:
The board may award compensation to a claimant of up to $7,500 for actual and unreimbursed losses and eligible expenses of any person who is sexually assaulted or who suffers
bodily personal injury or death as the result of a crime specified in section 3360, subsection 3.
Sec. 8. 5 MRSA §3360-F, sub-§3, as enacted by PL 1991, c. 806, §3, is amended to read:
3. Determination of award. The board shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether a specified crime occurred, whether the
bodily personal injury or death was the result of that criminal conduct, the amount of eligible expenses and losses suffered by the claimant, whether to award compensation and the amount of the compensation. In determining the amount of compensation to be paid, the board shall consider the amount available to pay victim compensation claims, the history of claims paid by the board, the number and amount of currently pending claims and the nature and cost of expenses submitted by the claimant.
Sec. 9. Application. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 1, section 302, this Act applies to all requests for compensation pending before the Victims' Compensation Board on the effective date of this Act.
Sec. 10. Allocation. The following funds are allocated from Other Special Revenue Funds to carry out the purposes of this Act.
ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF THE
Victims' Compensation Fund
Positions - Legislative Count (1.000) (1.000)
Personal Services $23,870 $35,875
All Other 5,504 3,149
Provides funds for one Research Assistant position to handle the increased volume of cases from the expansion of the eligibility criteria.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ____________ ____________
TOTAL $29,374 $39,024
Effective September 18, 1999, unless otherwise indicated.
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