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.

As Amended by House "A" (LCO 7673)

House Calendar No. : 367

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 08 $

FY 09 $

Various State Agencies

GF; TF - See Below

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund; TF=Transportation Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 08 $

FY 09 $

Various Municipalities

See Below

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill, as amended, places requirements on vehicles used to transport individuals in wheelchairs effective 10/1/07. Any vehicle coming into service after 10/1/07 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 newer model vehicle utilization of these devices and the new registration provision, it is anticipated that most state agencies and municipalities that operate wheelchair accessible vehicles will not incur increased costs to comply with the bill.

A potential cost may result to the extent that a state agency or municipality chooses to purchase or lease an older model vehicle that has not previously been registered in the state. The potential cost for retro-fitting or full lift replacement in order to comply with the bill would have to be considered. 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. In addition, a potential cost may be incurred for safety straps required if not already available in vehicles.

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.

House “A” changed the effective date of the bill from October 1, 2009 to October 1, 2007 with the resulting fiscal impact identified above.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

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.