Introduced Version






SENATE BILL No. 74

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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 36-8-3.5.

Synopsis: Police and firefighter merit systems. Requires all cities, towns, and townships that have full-time paid police or fire departments to use the statutory merit system or establish their own merit system for their police and fire departments not later than July 1, 2010.

Effective: July 1, 2008.





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    January 8, 2008, read first time and referred to Committee on Local Government and Elections.







Introduced

Second Regular Session 115th General Assembly (2008)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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SENATE BILL No. 74



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning local government.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 36-8-3.5-1; (08)IN0074.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 36-8-3.5-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2008]: Sec. 1. (a) This chapter applies to each municipality or and township that has a full-time paid police or fire department. A Not later than July 1, 2010, each municipality may exercise the power of establishing shall establish a merit system for its police or and fire department departments under this chapter or by ordinance adopted under IC 36-1-4-14. A Not later than July 1, 2010, each township may exercise the power of establishing shall establish a merit system for its fire department under this chapter or by resolution under IC 36-1-4-14. This chapter does not affect merit systems established:
        (1) by ordinance under IC 36-1-4-14, except as provided by subsection (e);
        (2) by resolution under IC 36-1-4-14, except as provided by subsection (f); or
        (3) by a prior statute, except as provided by subsection (b).
    (b) If a city had a merit system for its police or fire department

under the former IC 18-4-12, IC 19-1-7, IC 19-1-14, IC 19-1-14.2, IC 19-1-14.3, IC 19-1-14.5, IC 19-1-20, IC 19-1-21, IC 19-1-29, IC 19-1-29.5, IC 19-1-31, IC 19-1-31.5, or IC 19-1-37.5, it may retain that system by ordinance of the city legislative body passed before January 1, 1983. The ordinance must initially incorporate all the provisions of the prior statute but may be amended by the legislative body after December 31, 1984. The ordinance retaining the system must be amended, if necessary, to include a provision under which the commission (or governing board of the merit system) has at least one-third (1/3) of its members elected by the active members of the department as prescribed by section 8 of this chapter. Each elected commission member must:
        (1) be a person of good moral character; and
        (2) except for a member of a fire department having a merit system established under the former IC 19-1-37.5, not be an active member of a police or fire department or agency.
    (c) After December 31, 1984, the legislative body also may repeal the ordinance described in subsection (b), but the legislative body shall in the repealing ordinance concurrently establish a new merit system under section 3 of this chapter. (This subsection does not require the legislative body to establish a new merit system when it exercises its power to amend the ordinance under subsection (b).) After the new merit system takes effect, all members of the department are entitled to the same ranks and pay grades the members held under the prior system, subject to changes made in accordance with this chapter.
    (d) If a city had a merit system for its police or fire department under a prior statute but fails to retain that system under subsection (b), the city legislative body shall, before July 1, 1983, pass an ordinance to establish a new merit system under section 3 of this chapter. If the new merit system is approved as provided by section 4 of this chapter, it takes effect as provided by that section. However, if the new merit system is rejected under section 4 of this chapter, within thirty (30) days the city legislative body shall adopt an ordinance to retain the prior merit system. The prior merit system remains in effect until the new merit system takes effect, after which time all members of the department are entitled to the same ranks and pay grades the members held under the prior system, subject to changes made in accordance with this chapter.
    (e) An ordinance adopted under IC 36-1-4-14 to establish a police or fire merit system must include a provision under which the commission, or governing board of the merit system, has at least one-third (1/3) of its members elected by the active members of the

department as prescribed by section 8 of this chapter. Each elected commission member must be a person of good moral character who is not an active member of a police or fire department or agency. If an ordinance was adopted under IC 36-1-4-14 before July 1, 1988, the ordinance must be amended to include this requirement.
    (f) This chapter does not prevent a township or other unit that has adopted a merit system under section 3 of this chapter from later amending or deleting any provisions of the merit system contained in this chapter. However, the merit system must include a provision under which the commission has at least one-third (1/3) of its members elected by the active members of the department, as set forth in section 8 of this chapter and a provision that incorporates the requirements of section 6(a) of this chapter. This subsection does not require the legislative body to establish a new merit system when it exercises its power to amend under this subsection.

SOURCE: IC 36-8-3.5-3; (08)IN0074.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 36-8-3.5-3 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2008]: Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in section 1 of this chapter, the legislative body of a unit (other than a township) may, by ordinance, establish a merit system under this chapter for the police or fire department of the unit. The legislative body of a township may, that does not establish a merit system for the township's fire department under IC 36-1-4-14 shall, by resolution, establish, not later than July 1, 2010, a merit system under this chapter for the township's fire department. Before the merit system takes effect, however, the system must be approved by a majority of the active members of the department in a referendum.
    (b) The legislative body shall specify in the adopting ordinance or resolution which of the provisions of this chapter that are left to its discretion are being adopted.
    (c) If a merit system is established under this chapter for each department of a unit, each department has a separate merit system.
SOURCE: IC 36-8-3.5-5; (08)IN0074.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 36-8-3.5-5 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2008]: Sec. 5. (a) Except as provided in section 1 of this chapter, a majority of the active members of the department, by referendum under section 4 of this chapter, may request the unit's legislative body to establish a merit system for the department. The legislative body shall vote on the request within sixty (60) days after it is filed with the clerk of the legislative body of a county or a municipality or the executive of a township.
    (b) If the legislative body votes to grant the request, the legislative body shall adopt an ordinance or resolution establishing a merit system

under this chapter. A copy of the ordinance or resolution shall be distributed to each active member of the department, and another referendum under section 4 of this chapter is required before the merit system takes effect.
    (c) If the legislative body votes to deny the request, the request may not be resubmitted to the legislative body for one (1) year. Before the request may be resubmitted, another referendum under section 4 of this chapter must be held.