Bill Details - HB688 (2019)

HB 688-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0089

08/04

 

HOUSE BILL 688-FN

 

AN ACT relative to transfer and inspection of animals.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Bixby, Straf. 17; Rep. O'Connor, Rock. 6; Rep. Pearl, Merr. 26; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21

 

COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Makes changes to the definition of pet vendor and defines hobby breeder.

 

II.  Establishes the companion animal welfare division in the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

 

III.  Establishes the animal transfer database in the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

 

IV.  Creates a license for animal shelters and modifies the license for pet vendors.  

 

V.  Allows hobby breeders to register with the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0089

08/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to transfer and inspection of animals.

 

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

 

1  Transfer of Animals or Birds.  RSA 437:1-10 are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

437:1  Definitions.  In this subdivision:  

I.  "Animal shelter facility" means:

(a)  A facility, including the building and the immediate surrounding area, which is used to house or contain animals and which is owned, operated, and maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals; and

(b)  A public pound for the housing of strays or a pound operated by any person, excluding veterinarians, who contracts with a municipality to serve that function.

II.  "Commercial breeding kennel" means any person, business, corporation, or other entity that transfers 31 or more puppies in any 12-month period.

III.  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

IV.  “Hobby breeder” means a breeder who transfers animals for a fee and transfers 30 or fewer animals per year.

V.  "Pet vendor" means any person, firm, corporation, or other entity engaged in the business of transferring live animals or birds customarily used as household pets to the public, with or without a fee or donation required, and whether or not a physical facility is owned by the licensee in New Hampshire, when transfer to the final owner occurs within New Hampshire.  "Pet vendor" shall not include animal shelter facilities, hobby breeders, and working dog breeders.

VI.  Transfer" means transfer of ownership of live animals or birds from any person, firm, corporation, or other entity to a member of the public who will be the intended final owner of the transferred animal.

437:2  Declaration of Policy.  This subdivision establishes standards for the regulation of animal health and welfare that are consistent with the pattern established throughout statute by the general court.  Animal health regulation shall focus either on those conditions that pose a threat to public health, that would require regulatory intervention to protect the economy of the state, and on assuring the humane treatment of animals.

437:3  Companion Animal Welfare.  There is established in the department of agriculture, markets, and food a program to oversee companion animal welfare.  The program shall:

I.  Develop and oversee a database tracking animal transfers, animal health certificates, rabies vaccinations, licensing and registration of pet vendors, shelters, and hobby breeders.

II.  Perform regular inspections and inspections of licensees and registrants upon receipt of a complaint.

III.  Oversee the licensure and registration of pet vendors, shelters, and hobby breeders.

IV.  Provide education and advice to animal control officers, and local and state law enforcement on animal welfare and animal cruelty prevention.

V.  Investigate transfers of animals that violate this subdivision.

437:4  Animal Transfer Database Established.

I.  The department shall maintain a statewide database of all persons licensed as pet vendors or animal shelters, persons registered as hobby breeders; health certificates for any transfer of a dog, cat, or ferret for which it is required; records of all rabies vaccinations, records of quarantine for any animal brought into New Hampshire for transfer; any records required of pet vendors for the transfer of any animal that is not a dog, cat, or ferret, and the number of individual and group licenses issued each year by each municipality in New Hampshire under RSA 466.

II.  The department shall maintain a reporting system capable of receiving electronically transmitted reports from veterinarians, pet vendors, animal shelters, and hobby breeders, within 6 months of the effective date of this section.

III.  In addition to the department's reporting responsibilities under this section, beginning in 2020 the department shall submit a biennial report to the standing committees overseeing animal issues in both the house and the senate on or before August 1, regarding the number of transfers made, the number of licenses and registrations for animal transferors issued, and the number of individual and group licenses issued each year by each municipality in New Hampshire.

437:5  Pet Vendor License Requirements.  No pet vendor shall transfer animals or birds without a license.  A pet vendor shall apply to the commissioner for a license, giving such information as the commissioner shall require.  The application shall include proof that the zoning enforcement official of the municipality wherein any facility is to be maintained has certified that the facility conforms to the municipal zoning regulations.  The application shall be accompanied by a non-refundable $200 fee.  All licenses shall expire on June 30 of each year and be subject to renewal upon submission of a renewal application and fee.  No licenses shall be transferable.  A pet vendor licensed under this subdivision shall:

I.  Maintain in a clean and sanitary condition all premises, buildings, and other enclosures used in the business of dealing in live animals or birds customarily used as household pets.

II.  Submit premises, buildings, and other enclosures to unannounced inspection during regular and customary business hours by department employees or local animal control, law enforcement, or health officials at reasonable times.

III.  Maintain, subject to inspection by the commissioner, his or her agent, local officials, law enforcement, or any member of the public, a proper record in which all live animals or birds customarily used as household pets obtained or transferred shall be listed, including the breed, date the animal was obtained and transferred, and from whom the animal or bird was obtained and to whom the animal was transferred.  Such record shall also show the microchip, leg band, or tattoo number of each animal or bird, where applicable.  Animals or birds that do not bear such identification shall be identified by recording markings, a physical description and any other information as the commissioner deems necessary to identify such animals or birds.

IV.  Keep records of all animals or birds intended for transfer indicating identification, point of origin, and recipient, and shall submit said records to the commissioner upon request.

V.  Abide by such other rules as the commissioner may adopt to control disease.

VI.  Licensees without a physical facility in New Hampshire shall be exempt from facility inspection, however an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection meeting the requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, from the state of origin for every imported dog, cat, or ferret handled by the licensee shall be submitted to the department for inclusion in the animal transfer database within one month of the date the certificate was issued.  

437:6  Animal Shelter License Requirements.  No animal shelter shall transfer animals or birds without a license.  An animal shelter shall apply to the commissioner for a license, giving such information as the commissioner shall require.  The application shall include proof that the zoning enforcement official of the municipality wherein any facility is to be maintained has certified that the facility conforms to the municipal zoning regulations.  The application shall be accompanied by a non-refundable $200 fee.  All licenses shall expire on June 30 of each year and be subject to renewal upon submission of a renewal application and fee.  No licenses shall be transferable.  An animal shelter licensed under this subdivision shall:

I.  Maintain in a clean and sanitary condition all premises, buildings, and other enclosures used in the business of dealing in live animals or birds customarily used as household pets.

II.  Submit premises, buildings, and other enclosures to unannounced inspection during regular and customary business hours by department employees or local animal control, law enforcement, or health officials at reasonable times.

III.  Maintain, subject to inspection by the commissioner, his or her agent, local officials, law enforcement, or any member of the public, a proper record in which all live animals or birds customarily used as household pets obtained or transferred shall be listed, including the breed, date the animal was obtained and transferred, and from whom the animal or bird was obtained and to whom the animal was transferred.  Such record shall also show the microchip, leg band, or tattoo number of each animal or bird, where applicable.  Animals or birds that do not bear such identification shall be identified by recording markings, a physical description and any other information as the commissioner deems necessary to identify such animals or birds.

IV.  Keep records of all animals or birds intended for transfer indicating identification, point of origin, and recipient, and shall submit said records to the commissioner upon request.

V.  A licensee under this section shall not be required to submit a health certificate to the department at the time of transfer.  However, such licensee shall notify the department that such transfer has taken place.  The licensee shall also advise the transferee in writing to have a health certificate completed by a licensed veterinarian within 14 days of the transfer.  

VI.  Comply with such other rules as the commissioner may adopt to control disease.

VII.  Have on premises a microchip scanner and shall maintain a file of recognized pet retrieval agencies, including but not limited to national tattoo or microchip registries.

VIII.  Inspect for tattoos, ear tags, or other permanent forms of positive identification on animals where an owner is not known and shall scan for a microchip upon admission of an unclaimed or abandoned animal as defined in RSA 437:18, IV and prior to transferring ownership of an unclaimed or abandoned animal.

437:7  Hobby Breeder; Registration Requirements.  A person who transfers animals for a fee and transfers 30 or fewer animals in a year shall register with the department.  The application shall be accompanied by a non-refundable $10 fee.  All registrations shall expire on June 30 of each year and be subject to renewal upon submission of a renewal application and fee.  No registrations shall be transferable.  A hobby breeder registered under this subdivision shall:

I.  Maintain in a clean and sanitary condition all premises, buildings, and other enclosures used in the business of dealing in live animals customarily used as household pets.

II.  Submit premises, buildings, and other enclosures to scheduled inspections by department employees or local animal control, law enforcement, or health officials at reasonable times.

III.  Maintain, subject to inspection by the commissioner, his or her agent, local officials, law enforcement, or any member of the public, a proper record in which all live animals customarily used as household pets obtained or transferred shall be listed, including the breed, date the animal was obtained and transferred, and from whom the animal or bird was obtained and to whom the animal was transferred.  Such record shall also show the microchip, leg band, or tattoo number of each animal or bird, where applicable.  Animals that do not bear such identification shall be identified by recording markings, a physical description and any other information as the commissioner deems necessary to identify such animals.

IV.  Keep records of all animals intended for transfer indicating identification, point of origin, and recipient, and shall submit said records to the commissioner upon request.

V.  Provide a health certificate in accordance with RSA 437:10-d to the transferee.

VI.  Shall not transfer animals to pet vendors.

VII.  Comply with such other rules as the commissioner may adopt to control disease.

437:8  Refusal to Issue; Suspension or Revocation of License or Registration.  The commissioner, after notice to the licensee or registrant and opportunity for hearing, as set forth in the rules adopted under RSA 437:10-e, may deny an application, suspend or revoke a license or registration for any of the following reasons:

I.  The applicant, licensee, or registrant violated the statutes of the state of New Hampshire or of the United States or any rule adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this chapter;

II.  The applicant made false or misleading statements in his or her application for a license or registrant;

III.  The licensee or registrant knowingly transferred any animal affected with a communicable disease except as allowed under RSA 437:9 and RSA 437:10-d, II;

IV.  The licensee or registrant ceased to operate the business for which the license or registrant was issued;

V.  The conditions under which the license or registration was issued are not being maintained; or

VI.  The applicant, licensee, or registrant held any similar license or registration issued in another jurisdiction or by the United States Department of Agriculture which was revoked or suspended by that jurisdiction or by the United States Department of Agriculture as a result of engaging in conduct prohibited by RSA 437 during the preceding 5 years.

VII.  Decisions of the commissioner shall be subject to rehearing and appeal under RSA 541.

437:9  Prohibition.  No licensee or registrant under this subdivision shall transfer, other than to a qualified veterinarian or licensed animal shelter facility, any maimed, sick, or diseased animal or bird other than as permitted under RSA 437:10-c, II, nor shall any licensee or registrant treat inhumanely any animal or bird in his or her care or possession or under his or her control.

437:10  Exceptions.  The license provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to breeders of dogs that do not meet the definition of commercial kennel in RSA 437:1, veterinarians, or the transfer of livestock or poultry.

437:10-a  Inspections.  Inspections of facilities of licensees and registrants under this subdivision shall occur at the following times:

I.  For pet vendors with a physical facility in New Hampshire:

(a)  At the time of the initial application for a license.

(b)  One random, unannounced inspection within 5 years of the previous inspection.

(c)  A follow up inspection to determine if deficiencies found on the previous inspection have been corrected.

II.  For animal shelters:

(a)  At the time of the initial application for a license.

(b)  One random, unannounced inspection within 5 years of the previous inspection.

(c)  A follow up inspection to determine if deficiencies found on the previous inspection have been corrected.

III.  For hobby breeder or working dog breeder registrants:

(a)  A scheduled inspection within one year of registration.

(b)  One scheduled inspection within 5 years of the previous inspection.  Records of inspection by a breed association, such as the American Kennel Club, approved by the department may be used in lieu of a scheduled inspection.

(c)  A follow up inspection to determine if deficiencies found on the previous inspection have been corrected.

IV.  Any licensed pet vendor or animal shelter or registered hobby breeder or working dog breeder may be inspected if the department receives a written and signed complaint regarding such licensee or registrant.  The department shall not disclose the name of the complainant unless required to do so for court proceedings.  A complainant with a pattern of unfounded complaints may be charged with harassment.

437:10-b  Requirements for the Transfer of Companion Animals.

I.  For transfers of animals originating outside of New Hampshire:

(a)  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall ship or bring into the state of New Hampshire, to offer for transfer in the state of New Hampshire, any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall offer for transfer any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.

(b)  Once a dog, cat, or ferret intended for transfer has entered the state, it shall be held at least 48 hours at a facility licensed under RSA 437 or at a facility operated by a licensed veterinarian separated from other animals on the premises before being offered for transfer and shall be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection that meets the standards of the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  

(c)  Evidence of the satisfaction of the quarantine requirement in subparagraph (a), the accompanying interstate certificate of veterinary inspection, and the issued health certificate upon transfer shall be reported to the department.  

II.  For transfers of animals from licensed pet vendors:

(a)  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall ship or bring into the state of New Hampshire, to offer for transfer in the state of New Hampshire, any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall offer for transfer any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.

(b)  All dogs, cats, and ferrets transferred to or from the vendor shall be recorded in the licensee’s records.  Records of all animals transferred to or from the vendor shall also be submitted to the department for inclusion in the transfer database established in RSA 437:4.  Each record shall include:

(1)  Clear identification of the animal by microchip, tattoo, or leg band number if available.  If these are unavailable, identification by a physical description that includes markings and other characteristics which may be required by the commissioner under rules.

(2)  The breed of the animal.

(3)  The date the animal or bird was obtained and transferred, and name and address of the person from whom the animal or bird was obtained.

(4)  The name and address of the person to whom the animal was transferred an the date of transfer.

(5)  A copy of the health certificate issued under RSA 437:10-d

(6)  Certification of rabies vaccination

(7) Documentation of any veterinary examinations, treatments, or procedures.

(c)  The licensee shall provide the transferee with a copy of a health certificate issued under RSA 437:10-d and a rabies certificate.

(d)  The licensee shall provide the transferee with written information regarding the provisions of RSA 437:10-c, II.

(e)  All other animal transfers shall be recorded in licensee's records and reported to the database as may be required in rules.  At the least, the total number of transfers of each type of animal shall be reported.

III.  For transfers of animals from licensed animal shelters:

(a)  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall ship or bring into the state of New Hampshire, to offer for transfer in the state of New Hampshire, any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall offer for transfer any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.

(b)  All animals transferred to or from the vendor shall be recorded in the licensee’s records.  Records of all animals transferred to or from the vendor shall also be submitted to the department for inclusion in the transfer database established in RSA 437:4.  Each record shall include:

(1)  Clear identification of the animal by microchip, tattoo, or leg band number if available.  If these are unavailable, identification by a physical description that includes markings and other characteristics which may be required by the commissioner under rules.

(2)  The breed of the animal.

(3)  The date the animal or bird was obtained and transferred, and name and address of the person from whom the animal or bird was obtained.

(4)  The name and address of the person to whom the animal was transferred on the date of transfer.

(5)  If obtained, a copy of the health certificate issued under RSA 437:10-d.

(6)  Certification of rabies vaccination if the animal is over 12 weeks of age.

(7)  Documentation of any veterinary examinations, treatments, or procedures.

(c)  If no health certificate is provided, the licensee shall advise the transferee in writing to have a health certificate completed by a licensed veterinarian within 14 days of transfer.

(d)  The licensee shall provide the transferee with written information regarding the provisions of RSA 437:10-c, II.

437:10-c  Health Management; Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets.

I.  Medical treatment and use of controlled drugs on any animal or bird under the care or possession or under the control of any licensee other than a veterinarian may be administered only under the direction and supervision of a veterinarian for the purposes of this subdivision.

II.  Within 14 days of transfer, the transferee of a dog, cat, or ferret from a licensee may have the dog, cat, or ferret examined by a licensed veterinarian selected by the transferee and, unless said examination indicates the dog, cat, or ferret to be free of disease, the transferee shall be entitled to substitution or, at the transferee's option, a full refund of the purchase price of the dog, cat, or ferret, if applicable, upon return of the dog, cat, or ferret to the licensee within 2 business days of said examination, accompanied by the veterinarian's statement that the animal is not free of disease.

437:10-d  Health Certificates for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets.

I.  For purposes of this chapter, an official health certificate means a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian, containing the name and address of the entity transferring ownership of the dog, cat, or ferret, the age, gender, breed, microchip number, tattoo number, ear tag number, or physical description of the dog, cat, or ferret, and the certification of the veterinarian that the dog, cat, or ferret is free from evidence of communicable diseases or internal or external parasites.  A list of all vaccines and medication administered to the dog, cat, or ferret shall be included on or attached to the certificate.

II.  A health certificate shall be issued for every dog, cat, or ferret transferred by a pet vendor or hobby breeder or working dog breeder within this state.  The original of the official health certificate accompanying the dog, cat, or ferret offered for transfer by a licensee shall be kept on the premises where dogs, cats, and ferrets are displayed, uploaded the animal transfer database and made available for inspection by the department, local officials, or a member of the public upon request up to one year after the animal has left the facility.  The public shall be informed of their right to inspect the health certificate for each dog, cat, or ferret by a sign prominently displayed in the area where dogs, cats, or ferrets are displayed.  Upon transfer of a dog, cat, or ferret, that animal's health certificate shall be given to the transferee in addition to any other documents which are customarily delivered to the transferee.  The transferee may accept a dog, cat, or ferret that has a noncontagious illness, or feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus, which has caused it to fail its examination by a licensed veterinarian for an official health certificate.  The transferee shall sign a waiver that indicates the transferee has knowledge of such dog, cat, or ferret's noncontagious medical condition and then submit such waiver to the licensee who shall send a copy to the state veterinarian.

437:10-e  Rulemaking Authority.  The commissioner may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:

I.  The information required from an applicant for a license as a pet vendor or animal shelter;

II.  The information required from an applicant for a registration as a hobby breeder or working dog breeder.

III.  The health and sanitation standards to effectuate the purposes of this subdivision;

IV.  Information required to be maintained in records of pet vendors regarding identifying features of animals or birds obtained and transferred; and

V.  Notice and hearing on the refusal to issue, suspension, or the revocation of a license or registration.  

437:10-f  Penalty.

I.  Any pet vendor who transfers live animals or birds customarily used as household pets in this state without having a license to do so as required by this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

II.  In addition to the penalty under paragraph I, any pet vendor who violates any of the provisions of this subdivision or rule adopted under it may be subject to an administrative fine levied by the commissioner, not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

III.  Any hobby breeder who transfers live animals or birds customarily used as household pets in this state without having a registration to do so shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine not to exceed $100.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.

 

LBAO

19-0089

1/16/19

 

HB 688-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to transfer and inspection of animals.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill establishes the Companion Animal Welfare Division within the Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food and mandates the Division as follows:

  • Establish a statewide animal transfer database to track animal transfers, licensed and registered pet vendors, shelters, and hobby breeders, animal health certificates and records, and municipal licenses of pets.
  • License, register, regulate, inspect, and investigate pet vendors, shelters, and hobby breeders to ensure compliance with the requirements of this bill, such as, sanitary conditions for animals and appropriate record keeping.

 

Using Department assumptions, a table of the estimated impact on state revenue and expenditures is depicted below.  However, expenses pertaining to operating an office to house the new Division are not determinable at this time.

Fiscal Year

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

Hobby Breeder Registrations (1,600 X $10)

 

 

$16,000

$16,000

Licensed Animal Shelter (225 X $200)

 

 

$45,000

$45,000

State Revenue

$0

$0

$61,000

$61,000

Personnel

 

 

$1,076,000

$1,116,000

Database License and Support

 

 

$300,000

$300,000

Hearing Officer Contractor

 

 

$37,000

$37,000

IT Contractor

$80,000

$80,000

 

 

Database

$375,000

$375,000

 

 

Vehicles

 

 

$120,000

 

Office Space/Expenses (To Be Decided)

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

Total Expenditures

$455,000

$455,000

$1,533,000

$1,453,000

 

The Department made the following general assumptions in determining the estimated impact on state revenue and expenditures due to this bill:

  • the intent of this legislation is to put the humane treatment of animals on par with the existing mission priorities of the Department and this increase in the Department’s mission will be adequately resourced;
  • although the law would be signed effective January 1, 2020, the implementation of the database needed to operationalize this bill would not be effective until January 1, 2022;
  • the new Division’ staffing needs will be somewhat modeled after Maine’s Animal Welfare Program; and
  • office space is not calculated in the estimated expenses, since it has not been determined where this new Division would be located.

 

Department Revenue: This bill requires all pet vendors and animal shelters, as defined in this bill, seeking to transfer or house animals or birds to apply for a license and pay a $200 fee.  For this revenue source, the Department assumes 225 licenses will apply each year.  Additionally, this bill requires hobby breeders, who transfer less than 31 animals a year, to pay a $10 registration fee.  The Department estimates 1,600 hobby breeders would register with the Department under this bill based on applying national pet ownership statistics to New Hampshire and making a series of assumptions on the amount of applicable animal transfers which would be by hobby breeders.

 

Base Non-legal Staffing: The Department modeled their base staffing needs on the number of core staff within the Maine’s Animal Welfare Program, which regulates pet vendors, and has similar responsibilities described in this bill.  Maine’s Animal Welfare Program has a total of 16 Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE), but some responsibilities overlap with the responsibilities of NH’s Division of Animal Industry.  The Department estimates 10 FTEs within Maine’s Animal Welfare Program that are performing a function required of this bill.  However, since Maine’s current staffing does not allow for the level of follow-up inspections required in this bill or cover all specific responsibilities under this bill, the Department estimates an additional two inspectors are required for follow-up and an additional IT specialist to operate the database required in this bill.  Excluding legal staffing needs, base staffing would be: 8 inspectors, 1 administrator, 1 technical support specialist, 2 administrative secretaries, and 1 veterinarian.  The estimated increase to expenditures is as follows:

Position

Number of Positions

FY 2022 Salary and Benefit Costs

FY 2023 Salary and Benefit Costs

Inspectors

(LG 18, Step 1)

8

 

$544,000

$560,000

Administrative Secretary

(LG 14, Step 1)

2

$122,000

$128,000

Administrator II

(LG 29, Step 1)

1

$94,000

$99,000

Technical Support Specialist VI

(LG 32, Step 1)

1

$104,000

$109,000

Veterinarian

(LG EE, Step 1)

1

$101,000

$107,000

 

 

$1,076,000

$1,116,000

 

Legal Staffing: The Department estimates 75 cases a year due to administrative actions against licensees and registrants under this bill.  Currently, the Department reports handling these type of activities in-house without dedicated legal counsel.  The hiring of a dedicated attorney, comparable to a similar position within the Department of Justice, to process these administrative actions would increase salary and benefit expenditures by $113,000 once the program became operational and each year thereafter.  Additionally, 75 hearings would require a hearing officer with appropriate independence to oversee hearings.  The Department estimates this could potentially be done by dividing the cases between other divisions within the Department or by contracting for a hearing officer at a rate of $50 per hour for an estimated increase in expenditures of $37,500 during the first program year and each year thereafter (10 hours per case X $50 per hour X 75 cases a year).  The estimated increase to expenditures is as follows:

Position

Positions

FY 2022 Salary and Benefit Costs

FY 2023 Salary and Benefit Costs

Attorney III

(LG 30, Step 5)

1

 

$111,000

$113,000

Hearing Officer Contractor

0.5

$37,000

$37,000

 

Information Technology: The Department used expenses associated with the NH Vital Records Information Network as a proxy for the database required in this bill.  The Department estimates the total initial cost of the database will be $750,000 over the first two years of implementation.  Additionally, during those two years an information technology project manager will be required to assist in the design and roll out of the database with an estimated expense of $80,000 per year.  Once launched, the Department estimates annual licensing and support cost will total $300,000 each year.

 

Vehicle Expenses: Under the assumption of 8 additional inspectors being employed within the Division, the Department estimates an increase of equipment expenses by $120,000 for the purchase of 8 vehicles at a cost of $ $15,000 per vehicle.

 

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  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 entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

Judicial Branch

FY 2020

FY 2021

Class B Misdemeanor

$53

$54

Class A Misdemeanor

$76

$77

Simple Criminal Case

$296

$301

Appeals

Varies

Varies

 

 

 

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2020 and FY 2021 are based on data that is more than ten 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.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2018 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$40,615

$40,615

FY 2018 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$4,620

$4,620

FY 2018 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$571

$571

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$105 to $120

$105 to $120

 

Many offenses are prosecuted by local and county prosecutors.  When the Department of Justice has investigative and prosecutorial responsibility or is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food, Judicial Branch, Departments of Corrections and Justice, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Environment and Agriculture HJ 3 P. 26
Feb. 7, 2019 Public Hearing: 02/07/2019 01:00 pm LOB 301-303
Feb. 12, 2019 ==CANCELLED== Full Committee Work Session: 02/12/2019 10:00 am LOB 303
Committee Report: Without Recommendation (Vote ; RC)
Feb. 27, 2019 Committee Report: Without Recommendation for 02/27/2019 (Vote ; RC) HC 13 P. 19
Feb. 27, 2019 Lay on Table (Rep. Bixby): MA VV 02/27/2019

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2019 House Hearing
House Floor Vote
Feb. 27, 2019 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB688 Revision: 4972 Date: Jan. 17, 2019, 2:30 p.m.