HB498 (2021) Detail

(New Title) relative to the payment of bail commissioners.


HB 498-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

24Feb2021... 0255h

2021 SESSION

21-0457

04/08

 

HOUSE BILL 498-FN

 

AN ACT relative to the payment of bail commissioners.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Alexander Jr., Hills. 6; Rep. Infantine, Hills. 13; Rep. Post, Hills. 4; Rep. P. Schmidt, Straf. 19; Rep. Meuse, Rock. 29; Rep. Lang, Belk. 4; Sen. Carson, Dist 14

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires the court to determine the offender's indigence using established criteria for the purpose of the offender's ability to pay the bail commissioner's fee.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

24Feb2021... 0255h 21-0457

04/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to the payment of bail commissioners.

 

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

 

1  Bail and Recognizances; Determination of Indigence and Payment of Bail Commissioner Fee.  Amend RSA 597:2-b, I to read as follows:

I.  The arresting officer, at the point of arrest, shall inform the offender of the availability of the services of the bail commissioner.  If the offender elects to utilize the bail commissioner's services and is not indigent, the offender shall pay the bail commissioner's fee directly to the bail commissioner.  If the offender elects to utilize the services of the bail commissioner, but claims indigence, the court, based on the uniform criteria developed to determine indigence for the purpose of paying a bail commissioner's fee under paragraph II, shall[, to the extent of available funding, utilize all possible means to] pay the bail commissioner's fee[,] and shall include written evidence of fee payment in the offender's case file.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBA

21-0457

Amended 3/3/21

 

HB 498-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2021-0255h)

 

AN ACT relative to the payment of bail commissioners.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

In Excess of $636,000

In Excess of $848,000

In Excess of $848,000

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill requires the court to determine the offender's indigence using established criteria for

the purpose of the offender's ability to pay the bail commissioner's fee.

 

The Judicial Branch indicates this bill would amend RSA 597:2-b, I by striking the limitation on payment of bail commissioner fees for an indigent party; “to the extent of available funding.”   The payment of bail commissioner fees for indigent parties is not funded in the budget.  Although the number of parties that would qualify as indigent varies, the Branch estimates the fiscal impact for this bill is approximately $848,000 calculated as follows:

 

  • In 2019, the Circuit Court received approximately 65,750 criminal court filings.  The Circuit Court estimates approximately 50% of those are class A misdemeanors, and approximately 50% of those class A misdemeanor parties are indigent.
  • In 2019, the Superior Court received approximately 9,510 criminal court filings.  The Superior Court estimates approximately 50% of those involve indigent parties.

 

Based on these 2019 figures, approximately 21,200 parties would qualify as indigent. Bail Commissioner fees are $40.00, which would require an additionanl appropriation of $848,000.  Since the bill would become effective 60 days after passage, the Branch assumed a start date of September 1, 2021.  The Branch suggests the estimate of 50% eligibility for State payment of bail commissioner fees may be conservative given that approximately 90% of defendants qualify for court appointed counsel.  The estimate is also conservative since it was based on felonies and Class A misdemeanor cases, although is it not unusual for a bail commissioner to be called for non-A misdemeanor cases, for example a DUI offense

 

The Branch expects there may be reductions to their  annual cost estimate based on case-specific determinations that a party is not indigent for purposes of payment of the bail commissioner fee.  Any such reduction cannot be determined until a process is established and the Courts have  data on the number of parties who, on average, are not indigent for purposes of payment of the fee.  

 

The Branch states it would also inncur additional costs to develop forms for parties to complete in order to provide information about ability to pay.  Bail commissioner fees are generally collected by the bail commissioners themselves without court involvement.  In order to implement the bill, the Judicial Branch and bail commissioners will need to develop a process by which the status of payment to the bail commissioner can be communicated to the court and recorded by the clerk in order to to avoid double payment to the bail commissioner.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch

 

Links

HB498 at GenCourtMobile
HB498 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 27, 2021 House Hearing
Feb. 5, 2021 House Hearing
House Floor Vote
March 29, 2021 House Exec Session
Oct. 26, 2021 House Exec Session
Oct. 28, 2021 House Floor Vote
Jan. 27, 2021 House Hearing
Feb. 5, 2021 House Hearing
March 29, 2021 House Exec Session
Oct. 26, 2021 House Exec Session
Oct. 28, 2021 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB498 Revision: 32133 Date: March 3, 2021, 12:13 p.m.
HB498 Revision: 33657 Date: Feb. 17, 2021, 10:54 a.m.
HB498 Revision: 31817 Date: Jan. 11, 2021, 2:48 p.m.

Docket


Oct. 29, 2021: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate HB 498-FN 10/28/2021 (Vote 21-0; )


: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate HB 498-FN 10/28/2021 (Vote 21-0; )


Oct. 26, 2021: Executive Session: 10/26/2021 10:00 am LOB 210-211


Oct. 6, 2021: Executive Session: 10/26/2021 10:00 am LOB 210-211


: Division I Work Session: 09/14/2021 02:15 pm LOB 212


Aug. 31, 2021: Division I Work Session: 09/14/2021 02:15 pm LOB 212


March 30, 2021: Retained in Committee


: Retained in Committee


March 29, 2021: Executive Session: 03/29/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/92166004660


March 25, 2021: Executive Session: 03/29/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/92166004660


March 9, 2021: Division I Work Session: 03/09/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/94444579237


March 4, 2021: Division I Work Session: 03/09/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/94444579237


Feb. 24, 2021: Referred to Finance 02/24/2021 HJ 3 P. 28


Feb. 24, 2021: Referred to Finance 02/24/2021 HJ 3 P. 28


Feb. 24, 2021: Ought to Pass with Amendment : MA RC 199-156 02/24/2021 HJ 3 P. 28


Feb. 24, 2021: Ought to Pass with Amendment : MA RC 199-156 02/24/2021 HJ 3 P. 28


: Ought to Pass with Amendment MA RC 199-156 02/24/2021


Feb. 24, 2021: Amendment # 2021-0255h: AA VV 02/24/2021 HJ 3 P. 28


Feb. 24, 2021: Amendment # 2021-0255h: AA VV 02/24/2021 HJ 3 P. 28


Feb. 17, 2021: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2021-0255h (Vote 14-6; RC) HC 12 P. 17


: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2021-0255h (Vote 14-6; RC) HC 12 P. 17


Jan. 28, 2021: ==CONTINUED== Public Hearing: 02/05/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/98584313159 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout theday (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Feb. 5, 2021: ==CONTINUED== Public Hearing: 02/05/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/98584313159 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout theday (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 27, 2021: ==RECESSED== Public Hearing: 01/27/2021 10:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/91386255102 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 21, 2021: ==RECESSED== Public Hearing: 01/27/2021 10:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/91386255102 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 11, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 2 P. 51


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 2 P. 51