Bill Details - SB130 (2019)

SB 130-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/07/2019   0630s

2019 SESSION

19-0970

04/01

 

SENATE BILL 130-FN

 

AN ACT establishing positions in the department of justice and the department of safety to work in the cold case homicide unit.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Levesque, Dist 12; Sen. Morgan, Dist 23; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Rep. Marsh, Carr. 8; Rep. MacDonald, Carr. 6; Rep. Hinch, Hills. 21; Rep. DesMarais, Carr. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes 2 attorney positions in the department of justice and 2 state trooper positions in the department of safety who shall be assigned to the cold case homicide unit.  The positions are established and funded for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/07/2019   0630s 19-0970

04/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT establishing positions in the department of justice and the department of safety to work in the cold case homicide unit.

 

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

 

1  Cold Case Homicide Unit; Positions Established.

I.  There are hereby established within the department of justice for the biennium ending June 30, 2021, 2 full-time, unclassified attorney positions who shall be assigned to the department's cold case homicide unit established in RSA 21-M:8-m to work exclusively on unsolved murders in the state.  The salary for each of these positions shall be determined after assessment and review of the appropriate temporary salary grade in RSA 94:1-a, I(c) which shall be conducted pursuant to RSA 94:1-d and RSA 14:14-c.  The department of justice shall fund these positions from the department's biennial operating budget.  

II.  There are hereby established within the department of safety, division of state police, for the biennium ending June 30, 2021, 2 full-time, classified state police positions who shall be assigned to the department of justice, cold case homicide unit established in RSA 21-M:8-m to work exclusively on unsolved murders in the state.  One position shall be established at the rank of sergeant and one position established shall be at the rank of trooper first class. The compensation for each position shall be determined pursuant to RSA 21-I and the collective bargaining agreement.  The department of safety shall fund these positions from the department's biennial operating budget.  

2  Repeal.  Section 1 of this act, relative to positions established in the cold case homicide unit, is repealed.

3  Effective Date.  

I.  Section 2 of this act shall take effect June 30, 2021.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

19-0970

Amended 3/15/19

 

SB 130-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (AMENDMENT #2019-0630s)

 

AN ACT establishing positions in the department of justice and the department of safety to work in the cold case homicide unit.

 

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

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$618,360*

$540,286*

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

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

*Expenditures would exceed these amounts if increased prosecutions or convictions occurred.

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill establishes 2 attorney positions in the Department of Justice and 2 State Trooper positions in the Department of Safety who shall be assigned to the cold case homicide unit.  The positions are established for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years.  The Department of Justice  assumes the attorney positions will be funded for the FY 2020-2021 fiscal years and the ongoing need would be evaluated in future budget cycles.  The Department indicates there would be no revenue generated as a result of the bill and estimated the cost of the positions would be $220,000 in FY 2020 and $224,000 in FY 2021.

 

The Department of Safety calculated the cost for the additional Detective Sergent and Detective as follows:

 

FY 2020

FY 2021

Detective Sergent LG 26, Step 9 Salary and Benefits

$148,096

$149,199

Detective LG 21, Step 9 plus detective differential pay

$132,594

$133,699

Overtime Costs

$12,988

$12,988

Expenses: Fuel, Telephone, Supplies, Software

 and Travel

$18,600

$15,600

Equipment: Cruiser, Personal Equipment, Laptop, Work Stations

$86,082

$4,800

Total Expenditures:

$398,360

$316,286

 

The Department assumes, based on the purpose of the bill, the positions would be filled at the maximum step because seasoned troopers would be needed to fill the roles.

 

The Judicial Council reports this bill will increase state expenditures for the indigent defense system under two conditions: 1) the additional attorneys established in this bill result in more prosecutions of the approximately 128 cold cases in NH; and 2) the defendants being prosecuted cannot afford an attorney.  The Council reports an average homicide takes approximately 635 total attorney hours in the public defense system.  Some elasticity exists in the Public Defender Program to absorb additional cases without an increase in state appropriations.  However, the Council reports cold cases are significantly more labor intensive due to: witnesses being difficult to locate; memories are not as fresh; the quality of physical evidence may have deteriorated, which may require expert services; and cases are more likely to go to trial due to issues with evidence.  While the Council predicts most cases prosecuted would be assigned attorneys within the Public Defender Program, a prosecution with multiple co-defendants would be appointed under the assigned counsel program.  The assigned counsel is reimbursed at a rate of $100 an hour for homicides and other serious felonies.  The Council has limited examples of cold cases paid within assigned counsel program.  However, two recent cases with assigned counsel, which were not technically cold cases but had delayed prosecutions, cost approximately $200,000 per case in legal representation and expert services.

 

In addition to impacts on the Judicial Council, this bill contains penalties that may have an impact on other aspects of 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

Complex Criminal Case

$933

$939

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.  

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

 

When the Department of Justice is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department is involved an a significant amount of appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Justice, Safety, Judicial Council, Judicial Branch, and Department of Corrections

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 4
Jan. 29, 2019 Hearing: 01/29/2019, Room 100, SH, 09:15 am; SC 8
March 7, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0630s, 03/07/2019; SC 12
March 7, 2019 Committee Amendment # 2019-0630s, AA, VV; 03/07/2019; SJ 7
March 7, 2019 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-0630s, MA, VV; Refer to Finance Rule 4-5; 03/07/2019; SJ 7
March 21, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 03/21/2019; SC 14
March 21, 2019 Ought to Pass: MA, VV; 03/21/2019; SJ 9
March 21, 2019 Sen. Feltes Moved Laid on Table, MA, VV; 03/21/2019; SJ 9
March 21, 2019 Pending Motion OT3rdg; 03/21/2019; SJ 9

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 29, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 7, 2019 Senate Floor Vote
March 21, 2019 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB130 Revision: 5096 Date: Feb. 11, 2019, 1:57 p.m.
SB130 Revision: 5490 Date: March 15, 2019, 9:48 a.m.