OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS
Legislative Office Building, Room 5200
Hartford, CT 06106 ↓ (860) 240-0200
April 16, 2014
To Fiscal Note on
sHB-5144, File No. 438
AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND PARENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION FOR ADOPTED PERSONS.
As the bill is effective 7/1/15, no fiscal impact to the state or municipalities should have been reflected in FY 15 in the fiscal note on file copy. Furthermore, the fiscal note on file copy reflected a net state revenue gain of approximately $23,000 annually and a minimal revenue loss to various municipalities of $450 to $600 starting in FY 15. Upon review of the implementation of a similar law in Oregon (Measure 58) and in recognition of the bill's effective date, the net state revenue gain is now anticipated to be approximately $57,957 in FY 16, $55,052 in FY 17 and $16,750 annually thereafter. A municipal revenue loss of $450 to $600 in FY 16 and annually thereafter is also anticipated. The various state impacts are indentified below:
● A cost to the Department of Public Health (DPH) of $51,729 in FY 16, $53,854 in FY 17 and $22,000 anually thereafter,
● An associated cost to the Office of the State Comptroller – Fringe Benefits of $17,314 in FY 16 and $18,093 in FY 17,
● A cost to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) of approximately $32,000 in FY 16 and FY 17 and
● A revenue gain to DPH of $159,000 in FY 16 and FY 17 and $38,750 anually thereafter.
According to a history of Oregon's Measure 58, the Vital Records office issued about 4,400 pre-adoption birth certificates in total 22 months after the law was passed. Under the assumption that DPH will experience a similar number of requests for uncertified copies of adoptees' original birth certificates in FY 16 and FY 17 (2,400) at a fee of $65 each, General Fund revenue of $156,000 is anticipated. Adding this amount to the revenue associated with the issurance of such copies by court order1 and the total anticipated revenue in each of FY 16 and FY 17 is $159,000. General Fund revenue of $38,750 is anticipated from FY 18 onward, reflecting 550 non-court ordered uncertified copies issued annually and 60 court ordered copies.1
Assuming approximately one hour of work per uncertified birth certificate copy issued, a durational Office Assistant will be needed within DPH to process and issue these copies in FY 16 and FY 17. Salary costs for an Office Assistant are approximately $47,229 in FY 16 and $49,354 in FY 17. Associated other expenses, including forms, supplies, postage and travel as needed to an off-site storage facility, are estimated at $4,500 in both fiscal years. Associated State Comptroller – Fringe Benefits costs for the Office Assistant are $17,314 in FY 16 and $18,093 in FY 17. The cost of $22,000 in FY 18 onward reflects a consultant at $40 per hour to process and issue copies and assumes 550 such copies annually.
The cost to DCF of $32,000 in FY 16 and FY 17 anticipates a similar rush in these fiscal years for contact forms (2,400 in each fiscal year) and assumes approximately 20 minutes of time per form by a consultant at $40 an hour. From FY 18 onward it is anticipated that DCF can accommodate the collection and filing of these forms without incurring any additional costs.
1 The bill eliminates the issuance of certified copies of original birth certificates by court order. Currently, certified copies of original birth certificates have a DPH fee of $30 per copy and a municipal fee of $15 (short form) or $20 (long form). Instead, it allows only DPH to issue uncertificated copies of original birth certificates at a fee of $65. Assuming that, currently, 30 such court orders are presented to DPH and 30 more are presented to various municipalities annually, this change is anticipated to result in a state revenue gain of approximately $3,000 through DPH and an associated revenue loss to municipalities of $450 to $600. Of the state revenue estimated, $1,000 is attributable to the increase in the fee from $30 to $65 (associated with the change from certified to uncertificated birth certificate copies) and $2,000 reflects new revenue from subsuming the municipal issuance of such certificates.