Bill Details - HB501 (2019)

HB 501-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0088

08/04

 

HOUSE BILL 501-FN

 

AN ACT establishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. O'Connor, Rock. 6; Rep. Bixby, Straf. 17

 

COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0088

08/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT establishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.

 

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

 

1  New Chapter; Cost of Care Fund.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 437-A the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 437-B

COST OF CARE FUND

437-B:1  Cost of Care Fund.  

I.  There is established in the department of agriculture, markets, and foods a nonlapsing fund to be known as the cost of care fund which shall be kept distinct and separate from all funds.  The cost of care fund is established to assist municipalities in covering the costs of care incurred from caring for animals pending the outcome of a person’s trial for animal cruelty under RSA 644:8.  

II.  The treasurer shall deposit in the cost of care fund:

(a)  Court-ordered restitution for care in animal cruelty cases under RSA 644:8.

(b)  $.50 of every dog license fee paid under RSA 466:4; and

(c)  One-half of the fees collected from the registration for distribution of commercial animal feed, under RSA 435:20.

III.  The person responsible for animal control operations within a municipality may apply to the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and foods for a grant from the cost of care fund to reimburse costs incurred caring for animals in animal cruelty cases brought under RSA 644:8 during pretrial care, for the period between when the animals are seized and until the final disposition of the case.  The commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food and the state veterinarian shall review such applications, respond to such applications within 15 days, and distribute no more than $1,000,000 per application.  Grants shall be distributed on a first come, first served basis.  

IV.  In a case where an animal needs emergency veterinary treatment that is estimated to cost $1,000 or more, the person responsible for animal control operations within a municipality may apply for an emergency disbursement 24 hours before such treatment and the commissioner and the state veterinarian shall respond to such request with 24 hours of receipt.

V.  The commissioner may accept private gifts and donations of any kind for the purpose of supporting the cost of animal care.

VI.  If a person is convicted of animal cruelty, and is ordered by the court to make restitution, the money paid from such order shall be deposited into the cost of care fund.  

2  Licensing of Dogs; Fees.  Amend RSA 466:4, I(c) to read as follows:

(c)  The clerk shall remit all companion animal population control fees collected to the state treasurer along with the fees sent in accordance with RSA 466:9, provided that such companion animal population control fees shall be deposited into the companion animal neutering fund, established in RSA 437-A:4-a and such cost of care fees shall be deposited in the cost of care fund in RSA 437-B:1.

3  Payment of Fees; Dog Licenses.  Amend RSA 466:9 to read as follows:

I.  Clerks of the towns and cities shall issue dog licenses, receive the money for the licenses, and pay the same into the treasuries of their respective towns and cities on or before June 1 each year, retaining to their own use $1 for each license and submitting [$.50] $1 for each license to the department of agriculture, markets, and food for the purpose specified in paragraph II.  The clerks shall return to their respective town or city treasurer a sworn statement of the amount of moneys thus received and paid over by them.

II.  The [$.50] $1 received by the department of agriculture, markets, and food for each license issued pursuant to paragraph I shall be credited in the following way:

(a)  $.50 to a special nonlapsing fund to be used exclusively for the operation of the veterinary diagnostic laboratory established under RSA 436:92, and are hereby continually appropriated for such purpose to be expended under the supervision of the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

(b)  $.50 to a special nonlapsing fund to be used exclusively to fund cost of care grants under RSA 437-B:1, and are hereby continually appropriated for such purpose to be expended under the supervision of the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

4  Registration of Commercial Animal Food Sellers.  Amend RSA 435:20, IV to read as follows:

IV.  One-half of the fees collected under this section shall be deposited with the state treasurer into a separate, nonlapsing account to be known as the agricultural product and scale testing fund.  The remainder of the fees collected under this section shall be deposited in [the general fund] cost of care fund established in RSA 437-B:1.

5  New Subparagraph; Cost of Care Fund.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b) by inserting after subparagraph (343) the following new subparagraph:

(344)  Moneys deposited in the cost of care fund established in RSA 437-B:1.

6  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

19-0088

12/31/18

 

HB 501-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT establishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Dog license and commercial animal feed registration fees

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

   Expenditures

$0

$0

$0

$0

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill would establish a cost of care fund to assist municipalities with caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.  Revenue to the fund would be from $0.50 of every dog license fee paid, one-half of the fees collected from registration for distribution of commercial animal feed, and court-ordered restitution for care in animal cruelty cases.  

 

The Department of Agriculture, Markets and Foods provided the following assumptions about the fiscal impact of this bill:

  • One-half of commercial animal feed registrations would generate estimated annual revenue of $490,000, and $0.50 from each dog license fee would generate estimated annual revenue of $95,000, for a total $585,000.  Based on accounts from shelters involved in such cases, restitution from convicted parties almost never occurs therefore no revenue from this source is assumed.  
  • The funds used from commercial animal feed registrations would reduce revenue deposited in the general fund by $490,000.  
  • The $0.50 from dog license fees would reduce the amount retained by cities and towns by $95,000.
  • Based on discourse about how prevalent these cases are, the fund would be fully expended each year.
  • The maximum daily reimbursement per animal would be $25.  On average, animals would spend 180 days (6 months) in custody as the trial progresses.  Miscellaneous expenses of $500 per animal would be incurred for such things as the initial veterinary exam, medications and treatments.  The total per animal would be $5,000.
  • Based on the estimates of available funding and costs per animal, the fund would be able to provide reimbursements for 12 cases per year:

      [$585,000 available / $5000 per animal = 117 animals / 10 animals / case = 12 cases]

  • If an animal needs emergency veterinary treatment estimated to cost $1,000 or more, a municipality may apply for an emergency disbursement within 24 hours of such treatment and the Commissioner and State Veterinarian would be required to respond within 24 hours.
  • The bill does not provide additional resources but creates additional responsibilities for the Department.  The Department indicated there is no unused time in current schedules so new work would  supplant work that is currently being done.  
  • The commissioner would promulgate rules to: create an application, an application for emergency veterinary treatment, establish the application process, define reimbursable expenses, clarify when applications may be submitted,  and set forth various other parts of this process.  The Department assumes it would take 200 hours of labor to promulgate new rules in the first year from drafting and public interaction, through the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules process.
  • Each of the 12 cases would involve two applications for reimbursement; one midway through the case and one upon conclusion of the case.  Each application would require 4 hours time to review the background, gather necessary information, consider application, and discuss with the applicant as necessary for a total of 96 hours.

[2 hours Commissioner + 2 hours State Veterinarian X 24 applications]

  • It is assumed there will be some provision to prevents towns from applying for reimbursement retroactively for historical cases.
  • Grants would be capped at no more than $1 million per application.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Agriculture

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Environment and Agriculture HJ 3 P. 17
Feb. 5, 2019 Public Hearing: 02/05/2019 01:30 pm LOB 303
Feb. 7, 2019 Full Committee Work Session: 02/07/2019 10:00 am LOB 301-303
Feb. 12, 2019 ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 02/12/2019 12:45 pm LOB 303
Feb. 19, 2019 Executive Session: 02/19/2019 01:30 pm LOB 303
Retained in Committee

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 5, 2019 House Hearing
Feb. 12, 2019 House Exec Session
Feb. 19, 2019 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB501 Revision: 4759 Date: Jan. 15, 2019, 9:48 a.m.