HB405 (2015) Detail

Requiring the department of health and human services to license supervised visitation centers.


HB 405-FN - AS INTRODUCED

2015 SESSION

15-0705

05/03

HOUSE BILL 405-FN

AN ACT requiring the department of health and human services to license supervised visitation centers.

SPONSORS: Rep. Oligny, Rock 34; Rep. Verschueren, Straf 13; Rep. Pantelakos, Rock 25; Rep.?Abrami, Rock 19; Rep. Welch, Rock 13; Rep. K. Rice, Hills 37

COMMITTEE: Children and Family Law

ANALYSIS

This bill requires the department of health and human services to license supervised visitation centers.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

15-0705

05/03

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen

AN ACT requiring the department of health and human services to license supervised visitation centers.

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

1 New Subdivision; Supervised Visitation Centers. Amend RSA 170-E by inserting after section 50 the following new subdivision:

Supervised Visitation Centers

170-E:51 Supervised Visitation Centers; License Required.

I. No person shall establish, maintain, or operate a supervised visitation center without a license issued by the department of health and human services under this subdivision.

II. The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to the following:

(a) License application, issuance, and renewal procedures.

(b) License revocation and suspension procedures.

(c) Grounds for license revocation and suspension.

(d) Qualifications, experience, and training of supervised visitation center providers and staff.

(e) Safety and security procedures, including child to staff ratios.

(f) Conflict of interest standards and procedures.

(g) Maintenance and disclosure of records, including confidentiality policies.

(h) Legal obligations and responsibilities of supervised visitation center providers.

(i) Grievance procedures.

(j) Quality standards relative to maintaining positive and appropriate parent-child interactions and relationships.

III. License application, issuance, and renewal fees shall be established by the commissioner by rule under RSA 541-A and shall be based on administrative costs associated with the licensing and regulation of supervised visitation centers.

IV. The department of health and human services shall solicit information and testimony from visitation centers, mothers’ groups, fathers’ groups, judges, family law practitioners, children’s advocacy groups, domestic violence prevention groups, groups advocating legal reform to reduce false allegations of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect, and members of the general public in developing the rules required under this section.

V. Any person who establishes, maintains, or operates a supervised visitation center without first having obtained a license therefor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for a natural person and a felony for any other person.

VI. The commissioner may apply for, receive, and accept money from any source for the purpose of establishing and administering the supervised visitation center licensing program required by this section.

VII. A list of all supervised visitation centers licensed by the department health and human services shall be available on the state website.

VIII. Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the court from ordering supervised visitation with an employee of the department of health and human services, a private mental health professional, or any other third party as designated in a court order.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.

LBAO

15-0705

01/20/15

HB 405-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT requiring the department of health and human services to license supervised visitation centers.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, Judicial Branch, and New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill, as introduced, will increase state expenditures and revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2016 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local expenditures, or county and local revenue.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of Health and Human Services states this bill creates a new regulatory responsibility within the Department for the licensing, inspection and oversight of supervised visitation centers. The Department states it must promulgate rules relative to licensing and regulatory oversight, which will entail a cost in terms of resources. The Department indicates it will need personnel to perform regulatory functions related to processing applications, conducting inspections of supervised visitations centers, and enforcement activities. The Department states it does not have the capability to absorb the additional responsibilities with existing staff and resources. The Department is unable to predict what additional resources will be needed since the number of supervised visitation centers to be established in the State is not known. The Department is unable to estimate the fiscal impact the additional licensing fees will have on state revenue because the fees have not yet been established and the future number of centers is unknown.

      The Department of Justice states this bill will have an indeterminable fiscal impact. The Department anticipates spending 20 hours of time assisting in the development of rules for supervised visitation centers. The Department states this bill may result in the Department having to investigate and prosecute an unknown number of complaints filed. The Department reports this bill provides for a criminal penalty for operating a supervised visiting center without a license. Such violations would typically be prosecuted at the local or county level. There may be an indeterminable fiscal impact in instances were an appeal is taken to the Supreme Court from a prosecution. The Department is unable to predict how often appeals will occur.

    The Judicial Branch states this bill contains an unspecified misdemeanor and a felony. An unspecified misdemeanor can either be a class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor. There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures. However, the Branch has provided the potential costs associated with the penalties contained in this bill, where they can be determined, in the table below:

 

FY 2016

FY 2017

Judicial Branch*

?

?

Class B Misdemeanor

$48

$51

Class A Misdemeanor

$69

$71

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$438

$453

Complex Criminal Felony Case

$847

$862

Appeals

Varies

Varies

*It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2016 and FY 2017 are based on data that is more than nine years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.

      The New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill will increase county expenditures by an indeterminable amount. The increase will be the result of supervised visitation center licensing fees, which are not specified in this bill.

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

Links

HB405 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB405 Revision: 27868 Date: Dec. 16, 2015, midnight

Docket