By Hinojosa                                           H.B. No. 1132
         76R4236 BDH-D                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to certain municipal firefighters and police officers
 1-3     entitled to additional wages; providing a civil penalty.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Chapter 141, Local Government Code, is amended by
 1-6     adding Subchapter C to read as follows:
 1-8                      FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS
 1-9           Sec. 141.051.  DEFINITIONS.  In this subchapter:
1-10                 (1)  "Additional language skill" means fluency in a
1-11     language other than English.
1-12                 (2)  "Firefighter" means a full-time member of a
1-13     municipal fire department who performs:
1-14                       (A)  fire suppression;
1-15                       (B)  fire prevention;
1-16                       (C)  fire training;
1-17                       (D)  fire safety education;
1-18                       (E)  fire maintenance;
1-19                       (F)  fire communications;
1-20                       (G)  fire medical emergency technology;
1-21                       (H)  fire photography; or
1-22                       (I)  fire administration.
1-23                 (3)  "Police officer" means a member of a municipal
1-24     police department who is a licensed peace officer under Section
 2-1     415.052, Government Code.
 2-3     SERVICES.  A firefighter or police officer is entitled to
 2-4     appropriate additional wages if:
 2-5                 (1)  the firefighter or police officer provides a
 2-6     service to the department that uses an additional language skill
 2-7     possessed by the firefighter or police officer; and
 2-8                 (2)  the additional language skill used is outside the
 2-9     course and scope of the firefighter or police officer's position as
2-10     indicated by the firefighter or police officer's official job
2-11     description.
2-12           Sec. 141.053.  DEPARTMENTAL GUIDELINES.  The fire or police
2-13     department shall establish guidelines to determine:
2-14                 (1)  the types of additional language skills and the
2-15     levels of fluency in additional language skills that require a
2-16     department to pay additional wages under this section; and
2-17                 (2)  the appropriate levels of additional wages.
2-18           Sec. 141.054.  CIVIL PENALTY.  A department that requires a
2-19     firefighter or police officer to use for the benefit of the
2-20     department additional language skills possessed by the firefighter
2-21     or police officer without the payment of additional wages is liable
2-22     to the firefighter or police officer for damages in the amount of
2-23     $500 for each day the requirement is imposed without the payment of
2-24     additional wages.
2-25           SECTION 2.  Section 143.113(c), Local Government Code, is
2-26     amended  to read as follows:
2-27           (c)  The municipality's governing body shall [may] authorize
 3-1     assignment pay for bilingual personnel performing specialized
 3-2     functions as interpreters or translators in their respective
 3-3     departments.  The assignment pay is in an amount and is payable
 3-4     under conditions set by ordinance and is in addition to the regular
 3-5     pay received by members of the fire or police department.  If the
 3-6     ordinance applies equally to each person who meets the criteria
 3-7     established by the ordinance, the ordinance may provide for payment
 3-8     to each fire fighter or police officer who meets testing or other
 3-9     certification criteria for an assignment, or the ordinance may set
3-10     criteria that will determine the foreign languages in which a
3-11     person must be fluent or other criteria for eligibility.  The
3-12     ordinance may provide for different rates of pay according to a
3-13     person's capability and may allow more pay to those persons who are
3-14     capable of translating orally and into written English.  The heads
3-15     of the fire and police departments are not eligible for the
3-16     assignment pay authorized by this subsection.
3-17           SECTION 3.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this
3-18     section, this Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
3-19           (b)  Section 141.054, Local Government Code, as added by this
3-20     Act, takes effect January 1, 2000.
3-21           (c)  The change in the law made by Section 141.054, Local
3-22     Government Code, applies only to the use of additional language
3-23     skills on or after January 1, 2000.
3-24           SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
3-25     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
3-26     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
3-27     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
 4-1     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.