FIREMEN’S RELIEF FUNDS IN MINNESOTA.
In the Minnesota legislature the firemen of the State have carried the day so far as regards their relief associations. The act just passed is distinctly in their favor. It enacts (1) that every firemen’s relief association, with a paid department in any city of 50,000 inhabitants or more may pay out from any funds, pensions and relief money to any sick, disabled member or for service-pensions as its articles of incorporation and bye-laws shall prescribe up to $40 per month. The beneficiary, however, must have done active duty for at , least twenty years; shall be at least fifty years old, and entitled to be retired, and shall not be a member of the fire department. (2) This does not apply to firemen who apply for a pension on account of injuries unfitting them for the duties of an active. fireman. Their widows and orphans shall also be entitled to such a sum and under such limitations as the articles of incorporation and the bye-laws shall prescribe. (3) These pensions may be increased or lessened at the will of the association. (4) City clerks shall report in detail to the insurance commissioner before October 31 in every year as to fire department equipment. (5) Reports of premiums of fire insurance companies are to be made to the State insurance commissioner, who shall certify to the State auditor the amounts due to departments on a two per cent, basis, to be paid where this act applies. (6) This amount the city shall set apart as a special fund to be appropriated and disbursed as other city funds are, but only (a) for the relief of sick, injured and disabled members of its department and their widows and orphans; (b) for the payment of pensions; but, if there is a relief fund, the money shall be paid to its treasurer. The secretary and treasurer of every such relief association shall prepare an annual statement of all its receipts and expenditures showing the names of the beneficiaries and why the money was paid, a duplicate to be filed with the State auditor before any money is paid over to the association. The money shall be paid only to sick, disabled and retired firemen, their widows and orphans. No substitute or probationer, therefore, not a member of the association shall be deemed a fireman. The treasurer shall be bonded. (7) The money thus paid shall not be subject to judgment; garnishment, execution or any legal process, nor can the beneficiary assign it. nor shall the association have the authority to recognise any such assignment or pay the money over, if assigned. (8) The association’s board of trustees and officers shall have full charge, management and control of these funds, which shall be derived (a) from interest, rents, gifts or money from other sources; (b) from funds received from the State; or (c) raised by taxation. A tax of one-tenth of a mill shall, in addition, be levied by the city on all taxable property, and shall transmit to the county auditor at the time all other taxes are transmitted, and the money shall be collected, payment being inforced. as in the case of State and county taxes, and the county or city treasurer shall pay it over, with all interest and penalties collected on account of it, when collected and all interest paid on it between the time of collection and oayment to the treasurer of the association. (9) The public examiner shall examine the books and accounts of the association’s secretary and treasurer every year and report to the governor.