Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 178

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5227

House of Representatives, April 4, 2018

The Committee on Public Safety and Security reported through REP. VERRENGIA of the 20th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE INTIMIDATION ON ACCOUNT OF OCCUPATION AS A PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 53a-181i of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

For the purposes of sections 53a-181j to 53a-181l, inclusive, as amended by this act:

(1) "Disability" means physical disability, mental disability or intellectual disability;

(2) "Gender identity or expression" means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's assigned sex at birth;

(3) "Mental disability" means one or more mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders";

(4) "Intellectual disability" has the same meaning as provided in section 1-1g; [and]

(5) "Physical disability" means any chronic physical handicap, infirmity or impairment, whether congenital or resulting from bodily injury, organic processes or changes or from illness, including, but not limited to, blindness, epilepsy, deafness or being hard of hearing or reliance on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device; and

(6) "Public safety employee" means a reasonably identifiable police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, firefighter, as defined in section 7-313g, emergency medical technician, as defined in section 19a-175, or employee of the Department of Correction.

Sec. 2. Section 53a-181j of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree when such person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person or because of such other person's duties as a public safety employee, causes physical injury to such other person or to a third person.

(b) Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree is a class C felony, for which three thousand dollars of the fine imposed may not be remitted or reduced by the court unless the court states on the record its reasons for remitting or reducing such fine.

Sec. 3. Section 53a-181k of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree when such person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person or group of persons because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person or group of persons or because of such other person's or persons' duties as public safety employees, does any of the following: (1) Causes physical contact with such other person or group of persons, (2) damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property of such other person or group of persons, or (3) threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection will occur.

(b) Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree is a class D felony, for which one thousand dollars of the fine imposed may not be remitted or reduced by the court unless the court states on the record its reasons for remitting or reducing such fine.

Sec. 4. Section 53a-181l of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the third degree when such person, with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person or group of persons because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of such other person or persons or because of such other person's or persons' duties as public safety employees: (1) Damages, destroys or defaces any real or personal property, or (2) threatens, by word or act, to do an act described in subdivision (1) of this subsection or advocates or urges another person to do an act described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, if there is reasonable cause to believe that an act described in said subdivision will occur.

(b) Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the third degree is a class E felony, for which one thousand dollars of the fine imposed may not be remitted or reduced by the court unless the court states on the record its reasons for remitting or reducing such fine.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

53a-181i

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

53a-181j

Sec. 3

October 1, 2018

53a-181k

Sec. 4

October 1, 2018

53a-181l

PS

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do 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.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Correction, Dept.; Judicial Dept. (Probation)

GF - Cost

Potential

Potential

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill expands the crime of intimidation based on bigotry or bias to include public safety employees and results in a potential cost for incarceration or probation.

To the extent that offenders are prosecuted for expanded offenses under this bill, potential costs for incarceration or probation supervision in the community, or judicial revenue would result. On average, the marginal cost to the state for incarcerating an offender for the year is $1,9001 while the average marginal cost for supervision in the community is less than $7002 each year.

There are currently two inmates incarcerated under the existing statutes and 20 probationers. However expanding this crime to include public safety employees may increase the number of chargers or convictions.

The Out Years

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

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5227

AN ACT CONCERNING THE INTIMIDATION ON ACCOUNT OF OCCUPATION AS A PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEE.

SUMMARY

This bill makes crimes committed with intent to intimidate or harass certain public safety employees because of their duties, crimes of intimidation based on bigotry or bias (otherwise commonly called hate crimes). The bigotry or bias crimes already apply to conduct based on a person's actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. These crimes generally carry enhanced penalties.

Under the bill, a “public safety employee” is a reasonably identifiable police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), or Department of Correction (DOC) employee.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES

Under the bill, a “public safety employee” means a reasonably identifiable police officer, firefighter, EMT, or DOC employee.

Police officer means any sworn member of an organized local police department; an appointed constable who performs criminal law enforcement duties; special police officers appointed under law; and members of a law enforcement unit who perform police duties, including the State Police and tribal police (CGS 7-294a).

Firefighter means any local fire marshal, deputy fire marshal, fire investigator, fire inspector, and uniformed municipal or state firefighter (CGS 7-313g).

An EMT is someone certified to practice as an emergency medical technician by the Department of Public Health (CGS 19a-175).

BIGOTRY AND BIAS CRIMES

The bill adds crimes committed with specific intent to intimidate or harass a public safety employee because of the employee's duties, to the three bigotry or bias crimes.

OTHER STATUTES AFFECTED

By adding these crimes to the bigotry or bias crimes, the bill also:

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

19

Nay

6

(03/16/2018)

TOP

1 Inmate marginal cost is based on increased consumables (e.g. food, clothing, water, sewage, living supplies, etc.) This does not include a change in staffing costs or utility expenses because these would only be realized if a unit or facility opened.

2 Probation marginal cost is based on services provided by private providers and only includes costs that increase with each additional participant. This does not include a cost for additional supervision by a probation officer unless a new offense is anticipated to result in enough additional offenders to require additional probation officers.