OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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

EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION

HB-6650

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THE BUDGET CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL BRANCH, CHILD PROTECTION, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, WEIGH STATIONS AND CERTAIN STATE AGENCY CONSOLIDATIONS.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

Various

GF - See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

Various Municipalities

STATE MANDATE - See Below

Explanation

Summary of Fiscal Impacts

The bill results in the following state fiscal impacts:

● General Fund savings of $9. 1 million in FY 12 and $9. 7 million in FY 13 associated with the elimination of 49 positions from various agencies, which implements PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act);

● General Fund revenue loss of $4 million because surplus funds will not be transferred from the Probate Court Administration Fund;

● General Fund revenue loss of $0. 5 million in FY 13 associated with the privatization of sealed tickets;

● Banking Fund cost of $5. 3 million cost in each of FY 12 and FY 13 associated with extension of the sunset of the Foreclosure Mediation Program;

● Significant savings to the General Fund associated with various changes to the school construction grant-in-aid program; and

● Various agency mergers and consolidations that implement PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act).

The bill results in the following municipal fiscal impacts:

● Significant revenue loss/cost to municipalities associated with various changes to the school construction grant-in-aid program;

● $840,000 cost associated with requiring municipalities to pay overtime costs and fringe benefits for resident state troopers; and

● Approximately $1 million annual cost by requiring municipalities to pay tuition and fees for municipal police officer training at DESPP.

See below for more details.

I. Mergers & Consolidations

The table below outlines provisions of the bill that implement the budget, including: (1) the savings associated with the mergers and consolidations and (2) the transfers of personnel and operating expenses assumed in PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act).

Budgeted Savings and Transfers of Personnel and Expenses

 

FY 12

FY 13

FY 12

FY 13

Description

Amount

Amount

Pos

Pos

 

($)

($)

   

Savings

       
         

Child Protection Commission

       

Child Protection Commission merger into Public Defenders

(1,230,890)

(1,189,890)

(3)

(3)

         

Weigh Station Transfer

       

Shift Weigh Station Duties from DPS

(497,546)

(497,546)

(7)

(7)

         

DCS/DAS/DPW

       

Savings by reducing expenses and eliminating DPW positions

(1,428,706)

(1,376,527)

(13)

(13)

No savings are associated with the transfer of the Division of Fire and Building Services from DPS to DCS

-

-

-

-

No savings are associated with the transfer from SDE to DCS

-

-

-

-

Savings by reducing expenses and eliminating DOIT positions

(1,872,694)

(1,750,007)

(9)

(9)

         

DESPP

       

DESPP Merger (CFPC and POST only)

(291,195)

(280,410)

(5)

(5)

DESPP: Charge towns for Resident State Trooper Overtime

(840,000)

(840,000)

-

-

DESPP: Charge towns for police officer training

(956,250)

(1,275,000)

-

-

DPS (DESPP): Weigh Station Savings

(384,258)

(384,258)

-

-

         

DSR

       

DSR into DCP merger: Eliminate positions to reflect consolidation savings

(201,819)

(194,374)

(3)

(3)

DSR into DCP merger: Reduce the Charitable Games Unit

(904,653)

(894,174)

(9)

(9)

Total Savings

(8,608,011)

(8,682,186)

(49)

(49)

         

Fringe benefit savings related to consolidations

(519,496)

(1,040,992)

-

-

         

Total General Fund Savings

(9,127,507)

(9,723,178)

   
         

Transfers

       
         

Child Protection Commission

       

Child Protection/Public Defenders

12,312,696

12,305,345

6

6

         

Weigh Station Transfer

       

Transfer weigh station ops (DPS) to DMV

497,546

497,546

7

7

         

DCS/DAS/DPW

       

Transfer from DPW to DCS

4,310,626

4,262,999

16

16

Transfer from DPS to DCS

4,431,895

4,272,195

61

61

Transfer from SDE to DCS

865,275

836,740

10

10

Transfer from DPW to DAS

53,153,534

53,214,175

103

103

Transfer from DOIT to DAS

37,279,558

36,730,324

182

182

         

DESPP

       

Transfer Amusement Park Inspections from DPS to DCP

98,130

94,496

2

2

Transfer Police, Fire, Radio Network Accounts from OSC to DESPP

426,643

426,643

-

-

Transfer DEMHS to DESPP

3,631,493

3,540,783

35

35

Transfer CFPC to DESPP

2,869,247

2,631,695

15

15

Transfer POST to DESPP

1,448,698

1,083,951

19

19

Transfer DPS to DESPP

164,866,907

160,222,833

1,565

1,565

         

DSR

       

Transfer from DSR to DCP

4,984,799

4,486,370

89

89

         

Total

291,177,047

284,606,095

2,110

2,110

Further Explanation of Mergers and Consolidations

Child Protection Commission Consolidation

Sections 1 through 19 consolidate the functions of the Child Protection Commission into the Public Defender Services Commission, and Section 216 of the bill repeals the Child Protection Commission. PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act) assumes a related savings of $1. 2 million in FY 12 and FY 13. These savings include the elimination of three positions and savings associated with greater oversight of contracts with attorneys.

Weigh Station Transfer

Sections 38 through 41 transfer responsibility and operations of weigh stations from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The fiscal impact is based on the assumption that the seven Weight Technicians (civilians) assigned to DPS are transferred to DMV. The transfer would result in a savings to the General Fund and a cost to the Special Transportation Fund of $497,546 in each year of the biennium.

Section 38 results in savings of $384,258 to the Department of Public Safety by reducing Trooper staff to one Trooper per weigh station per shift. Currently there are 19 Troopers assigned to the weigh stations. The bill decreases the number of Troopers required to nine. The savings are associated with overtime as a result of redeploying the remaining ten Troopers to other duties.

Department of Construction Services (DCS)/Department of Administrative Services (DAS)/Department of Public Works (DPW) Changes

Sections 42 through 114 establish a Department of Construction Services (DCS), with the central mission of constructing and developing state-owned buildings and real estate. This is accomplished by transferring certain functions of the Department of Public Works (DPW) and Department of Public Safety (DPS). Section 95 transfers the Office of State Fire Marshal and the Office of State Building Inspector from DPS to DCS.

The sections also expand the responsibilities of the Department of Administrative Services. This is accomplished by transferring certain functions of the DPW, Department of Information Technology (DOIT), Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), and Judicial Selection Commission (JSC).

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)

The bill implements the budget by creating the new Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) through a merger of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control (CFPC). Section 135 and 139 merge DEMHS and DPS into DESPP. Sections 149-150 merge CFPC into DESPP. Sections 153-155 merge POST in DESPP. Sections 141 - 143 transfer the Police Association of Connecticut, the Connecticut State Firefighter Association, and the Fire-Radio Network accounts from the Office of State Comptroller to DESPP. There is no associated fiscal impact.

Division of Special Revenue (DSR)

Sections 172, 182 to 211 and 214 to 215 implement the budget by consolidating the Division of Special Revenue (DSR) into the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). The budget includes consolidation savings of $1,106,472 in FY 12 and $1,088,548 in FY 13 from the elimination of 12 positions. Nine of the eliminated positions are within the Charitable Games Unit, which is reduced from 11 to two positions in PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act).

II. Other Provisions with a General Fund Fiscal Impact

Intensive Probation Supervision Unit

Section 21 creates an Intensive Probation Supervision Unit within the Judicial Department. PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act) provides $2. 9 million in FY 12 and FY 13 to the Judicial Department for fifty-one positions associated with the establishment of Intensive Probation Supervision Units. These positions include 35 probation officers, 10 administrative staff and five chief probation officers. PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act) also provides $1. 0 million in FY 12 and FY 13 for adult behavioral health services and supportive and transitional housing for eligible offenders in an effort to divert them from incarceration. Savings, in the amount of $3. 0 million in FY 12 and $12. 1 million in FY 13 have been included under the Department of Correction's budget within PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act) to reflect averted costs due to diversion of approximately 900 inmates from incarceration on an annualized basis.

Sentence Reduction Earned Credit Program

Sections 22 through 25 authorize the commissioner of correction to implement a sentence reduction earned credit program. Savings, in the amount of $9. 8 million in FY 12 and $32. 0 million in FY 13, have been included under the Department of Correction's budget within PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act) to reflect a reduced inmate population. Budgeted savings are based upon a five days per month credit, retroactive to April 1, 2006. An estimated 1,600 inmates would be eligible for release in the first year of implementation, with an additional 1,048 eligible in the second year.

DWI House Arrest Program

Sections 26 and 27 authorize the commissioner of correction to implement a house arrest program for persons convicted of driving under the influence or while having an elevated blood alcohol content; driving with a suspended registration/license; crimes involving drug paraphernalia; or possession of a controlled substance other than a narcotic, a hallucinogen, or less than four ounces of marijuana. Savings, in the amount of $1. 8 million in FY 12 and $3. 1 million in FY 13, have been included under the Department of Correction's budget within PA 11-6 to reflect the cost differential between incarceration and house arrest for approximately 200 offenders on an annualized basis.

Provision of educational services at juvenile detention centers

Section 29 allows a local or regional board of education to seek financial assistance from the State Board of Education for excess costs incurred as a result of the provision of educational services at juvenile detention centers. To the extent local or regional boards of education incur excess costs due to education services provided at detention centers, a minimal cost to the State Department of Education may occur.

Foreclosure Mediation Program Sunset

Sections 31 and 32 extend the sunset date of the Foreclosure Mediation Program from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2014. PA 11-6 (the biennial budget act) provides $5. 3 million from the Banking Fund in each of FY 12 and FY 13 to support 25 mediation specialists, 17 office clerks, eight caseflow coordinators and one attorney position to continue the Foreclosure Mediation Program.

Possession of a firearm by a minor Misdemeanor

Section 33 establishes a class A misdemeanor for failure to halt a minor from possession of a firearm, and a class D felony when failure to halt a minor from possession of a firearm results in the injury or death of another person. To the extent that these changes increase the likelihood that offenders would be prosecuted or receive harsher penalties than currently provided for under the firearm possession statutes, a potential revenue gain from criminal fines and potential cost for incarceration and/or probation supervision in the community would result. 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 $3,785 to supervise an offender on probation in the community as compared to $48,545 to incarcerate the offender.

Probate Court Administration Fund Transfers

Section 36 provides that $4. 0 million of the projected $8. 0 million surplus in the Probate Court Administration Fund not be transferred to the General Fund. These funds will be used to support the Probate Court system. This will result in a revenue loss to the General Fund of $4. 0 million in each of FY 12 and FY 13.

Section 37 transfers funding of $75,000 in FY 12 and FY 13 from the Probate Court Administration Fund to the Judicial Department for the provision of juvenile competency evaluations. This will result in a revenue loss to the General Fund of $75,000 in each of FY 12 and FY 13. It is anticipated the Judicial Department will provide competency evaluations for an estimated 35 children and youth a year.

Elimination of Sale of Sealed Tickets

Sections 212 and 213 eliminate the state's involvement in selling sealed tickets by creating a distributor registration process which would allow private entities (“distributors”) to purchase sealed tickets directly from manufacturers and subsequently sell them to charitable organizations. This results in an estimated revenue loss of approximately $482,500 in FY 13 and annually thereafter which is not included in the biennial budget act.

Currently, DSR purchases and distributes sealed tickets to charitable organizations at a 10% cost, which results in approximately $700,000 of revenue to the General Fund annually. Under the bill, DCP would take responsibility for selling the current inventory of sealed tickets until it is completely exhausted, at which point private distributors would be allowed to sell the tickets at a 10% cost. 1

The bill specifies that the state would retain 30% of the gross revenue derived by distributors from the sale of sealed tickets. This results in a revenue loss of approximately $490,000, which is partially offset by the establishment of a registration fee for manufacturers and distributors of sealed tickets for a net revenue loss of approximately $482,500 annually.

School Construction Changes

Section 116 states that after July 1, 2012 all school construction projects (except for vocational-technical school projects) will only be allowed one reauthorization. This could result in a potential savings to the state and a potential cost to municipalities. Projects are currently allowed more than one reauthorization, and the majority of reauthorizations increase the cost of construction. Limiting reauthorizations to one could result in a savings to the state. However, if a municipality uses its one reauthorization and has additional cost increases, they will be responsible for picking up the additional cost.

Section 119 makes two changes that are anticipated to result in a fiscal impact: (1) it requires that the estimated construction costs of any project cannot exceed the per square foot cost for schools within the county where the project will be located. The fiscal impact of this change is indeterminate as the impact would be dependent on the differential between the current square footage standard and the county standard; (2) any project authorized prior to July 1, 2010 that has not begun construction by April 30, 2015 will not be allowed to begin construction and will have to file a new application. This could result in a savings to the state and to municipalities as some projects will be cancelled and may not move forward.

Section 120 changes the state reimbursement rate to municipalities for eligible costs on new construction, from a scale of 20-80 percent to a new scale of 10-70 percent. This change will result in a significant savings to the state and a corresponding revenue loss to municipalities. It is estimated that municipalities would lose $10,000 per $100,000 of eligible construction costs, and this revenue loss would be passed onto the state as savings. The savings would be realized over a number of fiscal years depending on when construction projects are started and the pace at which they proceed. Projects undergoing renovations, extensions, code violations, and a number of other exceptions, will remain at the current reimbursement scale of 20-80 percent. Additionally, any project that can demonstrate that new construction is more cost efficient than renovation will also remain on the current scale. There is no fiscal impact for the projects remaining on the 20-80 percent scale, as this is current practice.

Section 125 makes two changes that will result in a significant savings to the state. It (1) reduces state commitment to magnets from 95% to 80%. It is estimated that, based on total magnet projects authorized from 2007 through the current priority list, the reduction would result in a cost savings to the state of approximately $6 to $7 million per school. The savings would be realized over a number of fiscal years depending on when construction projects are started and the pace at which they proceed; (2) Section 125 eliminates the Connecticut Science Center (CSC) from receiving a state grant commitment for purposes of school construction. This would result in a savings to the state. There have been three projects associated with the CSC: (1) a state grant of $15,200,000, in FY 07 to assist with the construction; (2) a state grant of $2,783,500, in FY 10 for a fuel cell; and (3) on the current priority list, a request for a state grant of $1,425,000 to complete internal construction of the remaining display areas.

Section 131 requires the Department of Construction Services to submit a plan to the General Assembly for reimbursing school construction projects for purchase or replacement of heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems that would provide greater efficiency or reduce costs for the school. This is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 132 establishes a School Building Projects Advisory Council. Agencies would incur minimal costs, estimated to be less than $5,000, associated with mileage reimbursement of 51 cents per mile for legislators and agency staff (who seek such reimbursement) participating on the advisory council.

III. Sections with a Municipal Fiscal Impact

DESPP tuition for municipal police officers

Section 152 result in a mandated cost to municipalities associated with the requirement for DESPP to charge tuition and fees for municipal police officer training. The bill does not establish the fees but rather allows DESPP to fix the fees, subject to the approval of the Office of Policy and Management.

Overtime costs

Section 171 results in results in a mandated cost to municipalities and a complementary savings to the state of $840,000 (budgeted in PA 11-6, the biennial budget) by requiring municipalities to pay 100% percent of overtime costs and associated overtime fringe costs. Under current law, municipalities are required to only pay 70% of overtime costs and associated overtime fringes while the state pays 30%.

IV. Sections with No Fiscal Impact

Section 20 requires the Chief Public Defender to submit a report, no later that January 2, 2012, concerning the status of the transfer of functions, powers and duties of the Child Protection Commission into the Public Defender Services Commission.

Sections 28 clarifies that educational services received by a child in a juvenile detention facility operated or under contract with the Judicial Department shall be paid for by the local or regional board of education under whose jurisdiction the child would otherwise be attending school.

Section 30 allows a judge hearing a juvenile matter concerning a child who has been uncared for, neglected, abused or is the subject of termination of parental rights to permit a person who has legitimate interest in the case to attend the hearing.

Section 34 requires the Juvenile Jurisdiction Policy and Operations Coordinating Council to submit a report, no later than January 1, 2012, regarding the implementation of expanding the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 17 year olds.

Section 35 requires the Commissioner of Correction, Commission of Children and Families, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the Juvenile Jurisdiction Policy and Operations Coordinating Council and the Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission to submit a report, no later than January 1, 2012, on the feasibility and necessary steps concerning the establishment of a unified community correction agency.

Section 176 transfers the responsibilities of amusement park inspections from DPS to the Department of Consumer Protection.

Section 138 requires the Commissioner of DESPP to submit reports to the General Assembly on the status of the merger.

Section 140 establishes a Coordinating Advisory Board to advise DESPP on emergency response services and strategies. This Board replaces the State-wide Emergency Management and Homeland Security Coordinating Council which is repealed under the amendment.

Section 146 adds president of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association or the president's designee to State-Wide Security Management Council.

Section 178 requires the Commissioner of DCP to submit a report to the General Assembly on the status of the merger of amusement park inspections.

Section 217 repeals the Juvenile Access Pilot Program Advisory Board. As the board is no longer in operation, repealing the program will not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

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

The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

1 It is anticipated that the current inventory of sealed tickets would not be exhausted until FY 13.