Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Health and welfare benefits" means a plan or program established by a local government entity or entities for the purpose of providing its employees and their dependents, and in the case of school districts, its district employees, students, directors, or any of their dependents, with health care, accident, disability, death, and salary protection benefits.
(2) "Local government entity" or "entity" means every unit of local government, both general purpose and special purpose, and includes, but is not limited to, counties, cities, towns, port districts, public utility districts, water-sewer districts, school districts, fire protection districts, irrigation districts, metropolitan municipal corporations, conservation districts, and other political subdivisions, governmental subdivisions, municipal corporations, quasi-municipal corporations, nonprofit corporations comprised of only units of local government, or a group comprised of local governments joined by an interlocal agreement authorized by chapter 39.34
(3) "Nonprofit corporation" or "corporation" has the same meaning as defined in *RCW 24.03.005
(3) or a similar statute with similar intent within the entity’s state of domicile.
(4) "Property and liability risks" includes the risk of property damage or loss sustained by a local government entity and the risk of claims arising from the tortious or negligent conduct or any error or omission of the local government entity, its officers, employees, agents, or volunteers as a result of which a claim may be made against the local government entity.
(5) "Risk assumption" means a decision to absorb the entity's financial exposure to a risk of loss without the creation of a formal program of advance funding of anticipated losses.
(6) "Self-insurance" means a formal program of advance funding and management of entity financial exposure to a risk of loss that is not transferred through the purchase of an insurance policy or contract.
(7) "State risk manager" means the risk manager of the office of risk management within the department of enterprise services.
Findings—Intent—2004 c 255: "The legislature finds that recent increases in property and liability insurance premiums experienced by some nonprofit organizations have the potential to negatively impact the ability of these organizations to continue to offer the level of service they provide in our communities. The legislature finds that nonprofit organizations are distinct from private for-profit businesses. By their very nature, nonprofit organizations are formed for purposes other than generating a profit, and are restricted from distributing any part of the organization's income to its directors or officers. Because of these characteristics, nonprofit organizations provide a unique public good to the residents in our state.
The legislature finds that in order to sustain the financial viability of nonprofit organizations, they should be provided with alternative options for insuring against risks. The legislature further finds that local government entities and nonprofit organizations share the common goal of providing services beneficial to the public interest. The legislature finds that allowing nonprofit organizations and local government entities to pool risk in self-insurance risk pools may be of mutual benefit for both types of entities. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to allow nonprofit organizations to form or participate in self-insurance risk pools with other nonprofit organizations or with local government entities where authority for such risk pooling arrangements does not currently exist in state or federal law." [ 2004 c 255 § 1.