HB634 (2017) Detail

Repealing the penalty assessment on criminal offenses.


HB 634-FN-A - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0746

09/10

 

HOUSE BILL 634-FN-A

 

AN ACT repealing the penalty assessment on criminal offenses.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Brewster, Merr. 21

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill repeals the penalty assessment on criminal offenses.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0746

09/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT repealing the penalty assessment on criminal offenses.

 

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

 

1  Reference Removed; Special Fund.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b)(23) to read as follows:

(23)  The assessments collected under RSA [188-F:31 and] 651:63, V and the surcharges on state commissary purchases under RSA 622:7-b designated for the victims' assistance fund which shall be credited to the victims' assistance fund until that fund exceeds $900,000, at which time moneys in excess of $900,000 shall be credited to the general fund.

2  Waiver in Lieu of Court Appearance.  Amend RSA 262:44, I to read as follows:

I.  Such defendant shall receive, in addition to the summons, a uniform fine schedule entitled "Notice of Fine, Division of Motor Vehicles'' which shall contain the normal fines for violations of the provisions of title XXI on vehicles for which a plea may be entered by mail.  The defendant shall be given a notice of fine indicating the amount of the fine plus penalty assessment at the time the summons is issued; except if, for cause, the summoning authority wishes the defendant to appear personally.  Defendants summoned to appear personally shall do so on the arraignment date specified in the summons, unless otherwise ordered by the court.  Defendants who are issued a summons and notice of fine and who wish to plead guilty or nolo contendere shall enter their plea on the summons and return it with payment of the fine plus penalty assessment to the director of the division of motor vehicles within 30 days of the date of the summons.  The director of the division of motor vehicles may accept payment of the fine by credit card in lieu of cash payment.  Any transaction costs assessed by the issuer of the credit card shall be paid out of the portion of the fine amount which is credited as agency income and not out of the penalty assessment charged by the district court.  [The director of the division of motor vehicles shall remit the penalty assessments collected to the state treasurer to be credited and continually appropriated to the state general fund and to the victims' assistance fund and the judicial branch information technology fund in the percentages and manner prescribed in RSA 188-F:31.]  Fines shall be paid over to the state treasurer, and shall be credited as agency income by the department of safety within 14 days of their receipt and shall not lapse to the general fund until the second year of each biennium.

3  Judicial Branch Information Technology Fund.  Amend RSA 490:26-h, I(a) to read as follows:

(a)  Thirty percent of each entry fee collected in the supreme, superior, and circuit courts [and 16.67 percent of the penalty assessment collected pursuant to RSA 188-F:31] shall be deposited in the judicial branch information technology fund.

4  Repeal.  RSA 188-F:31, relative to penalty assessment, waiver of penalty, is repealed.

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.

 

LBAO

17-0746

1/23/17

 

HB 634-FN-A- FISCAL NOTE

as introduced

 

AN ACT repealing the penalty assessment on criminal offenses.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Victims Assistance Fund and Judicial Branch IT Fund

 

 

 

 

 

The Judicial Branch was originally contacted on January 6, 2017, and again on January 18, 2017 for a fiscal note worksheet, which the Branch has not provided as of January 23, 2017.

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill repeals the penalty assessment under RSA 188-F:31.  Under existing law the Department of Justice receives 16.67 percent of all penalty assessments collected for deposit in the Victims Assistance fund.  During the past five years this fund received approximately $789,000 in penalty assessments.  An average of $650,000 was paid out in victims' compensation and $120,000 was granted to victim services organizations.  The Department of Justice receives a small federal grant for victims' compensation that is 100 percent dependent upon the amount of state funds awarded.  RSA 21-M:8-h, XI, authorizes the Attorney General to request general funds if there is an insufficient amount of money in the Victims Assistance Fund to pay all authorized victims' compensation claims, with approval of the fiscal committee and governor and council.  Consequently, the Department of Justice assumes it would need to ask for $650,000 in general funds to compensate current victim claims, already approved and future claims pursuant to RSA 21-M:8-g.  Additionally, the Department assumes it would no longer be able to provide grants to victim service groups.  

 

The Department of Safety collects the plea by mail portion of the penalty assessment.  In FY 2016 plea by mail was allocated as follows:

 

FY 2016 Plea By Mail Revenue Allocation

 

General Fund

(In FY 2016 and years prior this was for Police Standards and Training Fund)

$1,366,995

 

Victims' Assistance Fund

$334,682

 

Judicial Branch Information Technology Fund

$334,682

 

Total

$2,036,359

 

The Department of Safety anticipates state revenue will decrease by an indeterminable in future years because the amount of plea by mail revenue the state will receive is unknown.  Using FY 2016 as a guide, the Department expects the decrease to be over $2 million.  The Department states it would need to make programming changes to the Online Ticket Pay system and the Division of Motor Vehicles Vision system.  The programming changes are expected to cost less than $10,000.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Safety, Department of Justice, and Judicial Branch

 

 

Links

HB634 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 22, 2017 House Exec Session
March 8, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB634 Revision: 751 Date: Jan. 25, 2017, 1:45 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 5, 2017 Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 3 P. 23
Feb. 7, 2017 Public Hearing: 02/07/2017 01:30 PM LOB 204
Feb. 22, 2017 Executive Session: 02/22/2017 10:30 AM LOB 204
March 8, 2017 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/08/2017 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 14 P. 10
March 8, 2017 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/08/2017 HJ 9 P. 17