OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sHB-5537

AN ACT CONCERNING WHEELCHAIR TRANSFER SAFETY.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 08 $

FY 09 $

Various State Agencies

GF; TF - See Below

None

None

Note: GF=General Fund; TF=Transportation Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 08 $

FY 09 $

Various Municipalities

See Below

None

None

Explanation

The bill places requirements on vehicles used to transport individuals in wheelchairs effective 10/1/09. Any vehicle coming into service after 10/1/09 that has not been previously registered in the state would have to meet the requirements of the bill.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles model 2006 and later already include devices that secure wheelchairs to the lifts. Given the effective date of the bill, newer model vehicle utilization of these devices, and the new registration provision, it is anticipated that state agencies and municipalities that operate wheelchair accessible vehicles will not incur increased costs to comply with the bill.

It is anticipated that there would not be any fiscal impact in the out-years (starting in FY 10) for most state agencies and municipalities. However, to the extent that on or after 10/1/09 a state agency or municipality chooses to purchase or lease an older model vehicle that has not previously been registered in the state they would have to consider the potential cost for retro-fitting or full lift replacement in order to comply with the bill. The cost of retrofitting or replacing lifts on vans range from $400 to $4,500, whereas the cost of replacing lifts on buses range from $18,000 to $25,000 each.

Passage of the bill is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact for municipally-affiliated ambulance services. It should be noted that only commercial ambulance services utilize vehicles that can accommodate the transfer of a patient in a wheelchair from the ground to the vehicle.

Should the Departments of Public Health, Motor Vehicles, and Transportation choose to adopt regulations, it is anticipated that they will do so within their normally budgeted resources.

The bill establishes a new infraction1 that may generate minimal revenue to the General Fund in the out-years (starting in FY 10).

The Out Years

Out-year impact referenced above.

1 Pursuant to CGS 51-164m, Judges of the Superior Court determine the fine amount for infractions, which must fall between $35 and $90. Additional statutory surcharges of $39 in total would apply. The minimum amount due for this infraction would therefore be $74.