OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

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

sHB-5639

AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S LEADERSHIP IN CORPORATION AND BUSINESS LAW.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Judicial Dept.

GF - Potential Cost

80,500

80,500

Judicial Dept.; IOLTA Program

SF - Potential Revenue Gain

See Below

See Below

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

GF - Potential Cost

27,958

27,958

Note: GF=General Fund; SF=Special Fund (Non-appropriated)

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill requires, within available appropriations, the Judicial Department to establish a special court session called the Connecticut Center for Commercial Claims to handle certain civil commercial cases involving claims for money damages over $500,000. Establishment of the center results in a cost of $70,000 for additional personnel (a case flow coordinator and an office clerk), plus associated fringe benefit costs of $27,958, and IT costs of $10,500.

In addition, the bill requires that any party to a commercial case transferred to the docket of the center be assessed a per diem fee of $25 for each day the case is pending on the docket. While the number of cases in not known, an individual case on the docket for nine months would result in an assessment of approximately $6,750 to each party, totaling $13,500.2 The bill requires all such fees be transferred to the organization administering the interest of lawyers' trust accounts (IOLTA) program to fund legal services to the poor.

It should be noted that the bill requires that the Connecticut Center for Commercial Claims be established within available appropriations. It does not appear that this mandates that the department establish the center regardless of available funding; therefore the cost described above is potential.

The Out Years

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

1 The fringe benefit costs for most state employees are budgeted centrally in accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated active employee fringe benefit cost associated with most personnel changes is 39.94% of payroll in FY 17 and FY 18.

2 The bill requires that the procedural rules ensure that matters are ready for trial within nine months of transfer to the center.