OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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

sHB-5623

AN ACT CONCERNING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, ACCESS TO MARSHALS, AND VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Correction, Dept.; Judicial Dept. (Probation)

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

Children & Families, Dept.

GF - Cost

7,000

10,000

Federal Revenue

FF - Revenue Gain

approximately 200,000

approximately 200,000

Note: GF=General Fund; FF=Federal Funds

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Municipal Police Departments

Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill results in the impact described below.

Section 3 requires state marshals executing service for temporary restraining orders where the respondent holds a firearm to request the presence of a police officer, which can be a municipal police office or a member of the state police. The bill does not specify if the town or Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) will be reimbursed. Currently service is executed by state marshals and compensated by the Judicial Department. To the extent that local police or state police officers incur administrative or mileage expenses, the bill results in a potential cost to the DESPP and municipalities.

Section 4 requires the chief court administrator to ensure that there is enough office space for a meeting between a state marshal and a restraining order applicant. The bill does not define office space. Currently, state marshals meet with applicants in the Court Service Centers, found in most courthouses. To the extent that this area of the courthouse is sufficient to meet this provision of the bill, this section does not result in a fiscal impact.

Sections 7, 15, and 16 expand the crime of criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition, electronic defense weapon, pistol, or revolver, which carries with it a mandatory minimum two year sentence. There are currently 288 offenders incarcerated for criminal possession. In FY 15, there were a total of 872 violations, of which 415 resulted in conviction or plea bargain. To the extent that offenders are prosecuted for new or expanded offenses under this bill, potential costs for incarceration or probation supervision in the community would result.  On average, it costs the state $7,260 (including benefits) to supervise an inmate in the community as opposed to $61,320 (including benefits) to incarcerate an offender. 

Criminal possession also carries with it a mandatory fine of $5,000, which the court can reduce if it finds sufficient reason. In FY 14, a total of $5,985 in fine revenue was collected. To the extent that the expanded offenses result in additional fines collected, the bill also results in a potential revenue gain.

Section 18 increases the membership to the Trafficking in Persons Council from 22 to 24 members and results in minimal costs to certain agency staff for mileage expenses.

Section 19 requires the Division of Criminal Justice and municipal police chiefs to annually report information on trafficking cases to the specified committees, which is not expected to result in a fiscal impact.

Section 22 requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to certify that operators of hotels, motels, inns, or similar lodgings annually train their employees on the recognition of possible human trafficking victims and activities, results in an annualized cost of approximately $10,000 to the agency. This cost is anticipated to be less in FY 17 (approximately $7,000) as the section is effective 10/1/2016. Operators that fail to comply with training requirements may be found guilty of a class A misdemeanor, which results in a potential minimal General Fund revenue gain to the extent that individuals are fined for noncompliance.

The cost to DCF reflects a contractor processing technician time of a half hour, on average, at a cost of $30 an hour. There are more than 600 such lodgings in Connecticut. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

Sections 23 to 26 make various changes to criminal statutes regarding prostitution and enticing a minor.  To the extent that offenders are prosecuted for new or expanded offenses under this bill, potential costs for incarceration or probation supervision in the community, or judicial revenue would result.  On average, it costs the state $7,260 (including benefits) to supervise an inmate in the community as opposed to $61,320 (including benefits) to incarcerate an offender. 

Section 28 makes changes to specified forfeiture laws concerning sexual exploitation and is anticipated to result in potential minimal revenue gain. While the bill allows all money and property (including motor vehicles) seized on the arrested person to be forfeited to the state, based on current arrests it is anticipated that it will generate minimal revenue as most of these crimes do not occur in owner vehicles.

Section 29 expands the offense of trafficking in persons. To the extent that offenders are prosecuted for new or expanded offenses under this bill, potential costs for incarceration or probation supervision in the community, or judicial revenue would result.  On average, it costs the state $7,260 (including benefits) to supervise an inmate in the community as opposed to $61,320 (including benefits) to incarcerate an offender. However, it should be noted that while there were 45 charges under this statute in FY 15, only one charge resulted in a conviction.

Sections 30 and 31 lower the standard of proof for the termination of parental rights in cases of sexual assault, which will result in an increase in federal funding received by Connecticut under the Violence Against Women Act by approximately $200,000.

Sections 1, 2, 5, 6, 8-14, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 27 make various changes that do not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

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

Sources:

Judicial Department Offenses and Revenue Database