OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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

sHB-5497

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES' TASK FORCE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

As Amended by House "A" (LCO 4359)

House Calendar No. : 302

Senate Calendar No. : 496

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 11 $

FY 12 $

Judicial Dept.

GF - Potential Cost

Up to $150,000

Up to $150,000

Pub. Defender Serv. Com. ; Comptroller Misc. Accounts (Fringe Benefits); Criminal Justice, Div. 1

GF - Potential Cost

Up to $150,000

Up to $150,000

Judicial Dpt (Probation); Correction, Dept.

GF - Potential Cost

Potential

Potential

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

Electronic Monitoring of Family Violence Offenders

The bill establishes a pilot program for the electronic monitoring of family violence offenders and requires the Chief Court Administrator to apply for federal grants to fund the program. The Judicial Department is currently using $140,000 (due to terminate March 2011) in federal stimulus funds through the STOP Violence Against Women Act to track 21 high-risk offenders over the course of 12 months.

The bill provides for the Judicial Department to cease operating the bill's pilot program to monitor electronically certain domestic violence offenders once federal stimulus funds for the program have expired in March 2011, if other resources are unavailable to continue the program.

Family Violence Dockets

The bill allows the Judicial Department to establish, within available resources, a family violence docket in 3 additional Geographical Area courts.

Each existing domestic violence dockets retains the contracted services of a victim advocate at an annual cost of approximately $50,000. To the extent that these dockets are established, the Judicial Department could incur a cost of up to $150,000 annually. One additional state prosecutor and over-time costs for the public defenders would be required if 3 additional dockets are established.

Persistent Offenders

The bill eliminates the five-year look back period that would subject certain offenders to enhanced criminal penalties as persistent offenders. To the extent that this change increases the likelihood that offenders would be prosecuted or receive harsher penalties, a potential revenue gain from criminal fines and potential cost for incarceration and/or probation supervision in the community exist. It is anticipated that relatively few fines would be imposed on an annual basis, and, consequently, any revenue gain under the bill is expected to be minimal. On average, it costs the state $3,736 to supervise an offender on probation in the community as compared to $47,425 to incarcerate the offender.

Leave for Victims of Family Violence

Lastly, the bill requires employers, including the state and municipalities, to allow family violence victims to take paid or unpaid leave in order to do any of the following: (1) seek medical care or counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability; (2) obtain services from a victim services organization; (3) relocate due to the family violence; or (4) participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from family violence. This change has no fiscal impact.

House 'A' reduced the potential expansion of domestic violence dockets from 12 to 3, which reduced the potential cost. It also required the Judicial Department to terminate the pilot program for electronic monitoring if no additional funds are made available upon termination of the federal funds. Since the funds to continue this program (estimated FY 11 cost of $46,000) are not included in sHB 5018, the Revised FY 11 Budget as favorably reported by the Appropriations Committee, it is anticipated that the program would cease in accordance with the amendment.

The Out Years

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

1 The estimated non-pension fringe benefit rate as a percentage of payroll is 26. 66% which includes health insurance, social security, Medicare, life insurance, and unemployment compensation. Fringe benefit costs for new positions do not include pension costs as new positions will not impact the state's pension contribution until FY 12 after the next scheduled actuarial valuation.