HB701 (2005) Detail

Establishing a citizen complaint review commission.


HB 701-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2005 SESSION

05-0881

09/01

HOUSE BILL 701-FN

AN ACT establishing a citizen complaint review commission.

SPONSORS: Rep. Marple, Merr 9

COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration

ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a citizen complaint review commission to review and investigate citizen complaints regarding actions by agencies of the state of New Hampshire. Each county shall elect a member of the commission at the general election beginning with the November, 2006 general election.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

05-0881

09/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five

AN ACT establishing a citizen complaint review commission.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Chapter; Citizen Complaint Review Commission. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 541-D the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 541-E

CITIZEN COMPLAINT REVIEW COMMISSION

541-E:1 Citizen Complaint Review Commission Established; Membership. There is established a citizen complaint review commission to review and investigate citizen complaints regarding actions by agencies of the state of New Hampshire. The commission shall consist of 10 members elected from each of the 10 counties at the general election beginning with the 2006 general election. Each member shall serve a 2-year term and any vacancy occurring during such term shall be filled by a special election.

541-E:2 Procedures. The commission shall review and investigate any complaint petition from any citizen regarding actions by agencies of the state of New Hampshire. The commission shall meet as needed in response to citizen complaint petitions. If the commission determines that a complaint petition is valid, the commission shall forward the complaint petition, along with a letter from the commission stating its findings as to the validity of the complaint, to the department of justice for prompt prosecution.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.

LBAO

05-0881

Revised 2/4/05

HB 701 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT establishing a citizen complaint review commission.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Departments of State and Justice state this bill will increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2006 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county, and local revenue or county and local expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of State states this bill would create an additional county office to be placed on the general election ballot. Since there is not a primary election process, there is no way to determine the number of candidate names that would have to be placed on the ballot. The Department states this bill could result in additional costs depending on the number of additional candidates and size of the ballot. The exact fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.

    The Department of Justice states this bill establishes a citizen complaint review commission to review and investigate complaints against state agencies. The procedure section directs the Department to “prosecute” any complaint that is determined to be valid by the commission. It is unclear who and how the complaint will be investigated. The office receives a very large number of letters from citizens complaining about decisions of various state agencies. The current practice of the office is to review the complaint and forward it to the commissioner or senior management of the agency subject to the complaint. Very few complaints rise to the level of criminal acts. If there were some allegation of criminal activity, it would be reviewed by the Criminal Bureau, Public Integrity Section. If the Department were to investigate or address every non-criminal complaint, the workload of the office would increase and have a significant fiscal impact. The Department states at least one full-time Investigator, one-part-time Attorney, and one part-time support person would be needed. The Department estimates benefit costs of 40% of salary, rather than the 44% figure contained in the Department of Administrative Services’ FY2006-2007 Budget Manual, due to the level of attorney’s salaries. Assuming benefits at 40% of salary and annual increases in salary, the estimated fiscal impact is as follows:

                      FY2006 FY2007 FY2008 FY2009

    Full-time Investigator $ 59,905 $ 63,889 $ 67,887 $ 71,886

    Part-Time Attorney 45,500 46,865 48,271 49,719

    Part-Time Support 15,971 16,653 17,308 18,004

    Total $121,376 $127,407 $133,466 $139,609

    The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will have no fiscal impact on local revenue and expenditures.

    The Association of Counties states this bill will have no fiscal impact on county revenue and expenditures.

Links

HB701 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB701 Revision: 9102 Date: Jan. 21, 2010, midnight

Docket