Bill Text - HB343 (2014)

(New Title) establishing a commission to study regulatory requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire.


Revision: March 27, 2014, midnight

HB 343-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

29Jan2014… 2305h

2013 SESSION

13-0788

05/04

HOUSE BILL 343-FN

AN ACT establishing a commission to study regulatory requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire.

SPONSORS: Rep. Huot, Belk 3; Rep. DiMartino, Belk 2

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a commission to study regulatory requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

29Jan2014… 2305h

13-0788

05/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen

AN ACT establishing a commission to study regulatory requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire.

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

1 New Section; Pawnbrokers; Commission to Study Regulatory Requirements for Pawnbrokers and Secondhand Dealers in New Hampshire. Amend RSA 399-A by inserting after section 19 the following new section:

399-A:20 Commission to Study Regulatory Requirements for Pawnbrokers and Secondhand Dealers in New Hampshire.

I. There is established a commission to study regulatory requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire, the purpose of which shall be to review state and local regulation of pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to determine whether current statutes and ordinances should be revised for consistency and to better reflect current business practices and/or law enforcement concerns.

II. The members of the commission shall be as follows:

(a) One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.

(b) Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(c) One representative of law enforcement from a municipality in which a pawnshop and secondhand shop are located, appointed by the senate president.

(d) A representative of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, appointed by the association.

(e) A county attorney with experience in property crimes, appointed by the governor.

(f) One representative of the pawnbroker industry who is also a member of the National Pawnbrokers Association, appointed by the senate president.

(g) One representative of the secondhand dealer industry, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(h) One representative of the coin dealer industry who transacts business with the general public, appointed by the senate president.

(i) One representative of the antique dealer industry, who transacts business with the general public, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

III. The commission shall:

(a) Study current laws and ordinances regulating pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire.

(b) Study issues surrounding recordkeeping, reporting, and retention periods, including privacy and constitutional questions.

(c) Study the changes in recovery rates in municipalities that have mandated recordkeeping, reporting, and retention periods, and determine what caused the change and whether the amount of change justified the increase in regulation.

(d) Consider the impact changes to state law would have on the industry, including any ethical concerns.

(e) Study issues related to jurisdiction and law enforcement inspections.

(f) Identify the type of items and transactions that should be regulated and those that should be excluded from regulation, including whether a minimum dollar value is appropriate.

(g) Recommend statutory changes to reflect current business practices and address identified enforcement issues.

(h) Solicit such information and testimony from individuals, agencies, and entities as may assist the commission in the performance of its duties.

IV. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, except that legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

V. Members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first named house member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Six members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

VI. The commission shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2014.

2 Repeal. RSA 399-A:20, relative to the commission to study regulatory requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers in New Hampshire, is repealed.

3 Effective Date.

I. Section 2 of this act shall take effect December 1, 2014.

II. The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

LBAO

13-0788

Revised 02/12/13

HB 343 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT relative to laws regarding pawnbrokers.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Justice, and New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill, as introduced, may increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will have an indeterminable impact on local revenue and expenditures in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state and county revenue.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Judicial Branch states this bill will amend several sections and add new sections to RSA 398 which regulates pawnbrokers. The Branch states the fiscal impact to the Judicial Branch would be from additional offenses which could arise as a result of the proposed bill. The Judicial Branch states all offenses under RSA 398 are misdemeanors but it does not have information on which to estimate how many additional misdemeanor prosecutions may result from this proposed bill. Regarding the cost of an average misdemeanor to the Judicial Branch, misdemeanors can be either class A or class B. The Judicial Branch states the cost to the Branch of a class A misdemeanor in the district division of the circuit court will be $62.71 in FY 2014 and $64.40 in FY 2015. The cost for a class B misdemeanor is $44.32 in FY 2014 and $45.84 in FY 2015. At those rates, if the proposed bill resulted in 160 additional class A or 226 additional class B misdemeanors in FY 2014, or 156 additional class A or 220 additional class B misdemeanors in FY 2015, the proposed bill would have a fiscal impact over $10,000 annually. These numbers do not consider the cost of any appeals of a misdemeanor that may be taken following trial in the district court, including the potential to appeal a class A misdemeanor to the superior court for a jury trial or a class A or B misdemeanor to the supreme court on issues of law, or to both. The potential for appeals makes the number of misdemeanors needed for a fiscal impact to the Judicial Branch in excess of $10,000 significantly fewer.

    The Judicial Council states this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures. The Council states class B misdemeanors do not carry the possibility of incarceration, and therefore do not trigger the right to the assistance of counsel at state expense. To the extent that class A penalties are sought in future prosecutions against individuals for violation of the laws regulating pawnbrokers, because this analysis assumes that an indeterminate number of people violating the terms of this statute would do so within the context of their employment, or would be defended or indemnified by their employer, it is unlikely these accused persons would require the assistance of appointed counsel. Also, since a gainfully employed person would probably not meet the indigence eligibility requirements, the accused would not qualify for appointed counsel. There is nonetheless, a possibility that someone charged with a class A misdemeanor under this statute could or would require or would receive the assistance of counsel through the indigent defense system. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the state would be subject to expenditures of $275 per misdemeanor case handled by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court appeals is $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap are seldom granted. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense of a case or during an appeal.

    The Department of Justice states the criminal offenses created by the bill would be prosecuted by a local prosecutor or county attorney’s office so there would not be any fiscal impact on the Department of Justice. However, the Department would represent the state in the appeal from any resulting conviction but the Department anticipates any increase in the appellate workload would be nominal and could be handled within the Department’s current budget. The Department is unable to estimate how many cases would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent more individuals are charged, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration in a county correctional facility, the counties may have increased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who might be charged, convicted or incarcerated as a result of this bill to determine an exact fiscal impact. The average annual cost to incarcerate an individual in a county correctional facility is approximately $35,000. There is no impact on county revenue.

    The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) states this bill would repeal RSA 398:4 requiring licensing of pawnbrokers in municipalities with populations larger than 40,000 and allowing municipalities discretion on whether to license pawnbrokers in municipalities with populations fewer than 40,000. The NHMA states the fiscal impact of this bill is indeterminable because it has no information regarding how many municipalities would choose to license pawnbrokers or what their income is from license fees.

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