SB578 (2024) Detail

Relative to criminal pre-trial services and monitoring.


SB 578-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/21/2024   0983s

2024 SESSION

24-3126

09/05

 

SENATE BILL 578-FN

 

AN ACT relative to criminal pre-trial services and monitoring.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Prentiss, Dist 5; Sen. Fenton, Dist 10; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Whitley, Dist 15

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill prohibits criminal defendants from being charged for the cost of electronic monitoring in certain circumstances.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/21/2024   0983s 24-3126

09/05

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

AN ACT relative to criminal pre-trial services and monitoring.

 

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

 

1 New Paragraph; Bail and Recognizances; General Provisions; Release of a Defendant Pending Trial.  Amend RSA 597:2 by inserting after paragraph X the following new paragraph:

XI.(a)  New Hampshire court systems, the state, and counties shall not require indigent defendants to pay for their own pretrial electronic monitoring equipment and use thereof if the defendant’s case terminates without a conviction for any offense.  Pretrial electronic monitoring equipment and use thereof shall be paid for by the New Hampshire court in which the defendant is charged if that court is providing or requiring pretrial electronic monitoring, or by the county or agency requiring or providing pretrial electronic monitoring, if a defendant is indigent. For the purposes of RSA 597:2, XI only, “indigent defendant” means a defendant who does not possess the ability to pay for the cost of their own pretrial services.  A defendant shall not be denied or offered a different amount of pretrial services than the defendant would have been offered before the enactment of this paragraph.  The court, county, or agency providing the pretrial services or monitoring shall determine an estimated cost of indigent pretrial electronic monitoring and request adequate appropriation in its yearly budget.  The court shall report annually to the legislature on the number of indigent defendants who are offered pretrial electronic monitoring.

(b)  The court shall develop uniform criteria to evaluate and determine whether a defendant has the ability to pay the cost of his or her own pretrial electronic monitoring and the use thereof.  Those facilities that utilize electronic monitoring for pretrial services shall take into consideration at that time the ability of the individual to pay when setting fees for electronic monitoring.  Based on that determination, the defendant may be provided with the electronic monitoring device in accordance with subparagraph XI(a) at no cost.  The defendant shall not be liable to reimburse the court, county, or agency covering the cost of the electronic monitoring service if the defendant’s case terminates without a conviction for any offense.

(c)  For the purposes of this section, a conviction shall include any plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any originally charged offense or any greater or lesser related offense.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2025.

 

LBA

24-3126

Amended 4/2/24

 

SB 578-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (AMENDMENT #2024-0983s)

 

AN ACT relative to criminal pre-trial services and monitoring.

 

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

 

 

Estimated State Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

Revenue Fund(s)

None

 

Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source(s)

General Fund

 

Appropriations

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

None

 

Does this bill provide sufficient funding to cover estimated expenditures? [X] N/A

Does this bill authorize new positions to implement this bill? [X] No

 

Estimated Political Subdivision Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

County Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

County Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill prohibits criminal defendants from being charged for the cost of electronic monitoring in

certain circumstances.

 

The Judicial Branch indicates the courts do not currently administer electronic monitoring or pre-trial services.  The Branch expects the cost of these programs to be considerable.  The Branch assumes it would have to hire adequate accounting and contracting staff if the bill assigns to the courts the responsibility to function as a pass through for funding to other agencies.  The legislation appears to contemplate that the counties may instead administer electronic monitoring. If so, this would reduce the contemplated costs to the courts and utilize the counties’ existing expertise with electronic monitoring.  The Branch states the bill assigns responsibility for tracking the use of electronic monitoring by indigent persons to the courts.  This will require staff time and training as well as proper record keeping.  The courts must also develop uniform criteria to evaluate and determine whether a defendant is indigent.  The Branch indicates these costs are indeterminable.

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill would create an administrative burden for counties as it would only allow for collection of fees if a conviction is completed.  The Association assumes fees would likely not be collected at all as most convictions result in a plea deal.  The bill also does not account for the costs of monitoring the equipment.  The Association indicates the cost of the program is only one part, monitoring and responding to violations would be an additional.  The Association is not able to quantify these costs and believes this bill results in an unfunded mandate.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Amendments

Date Amendment
March 6, 2024 2024-0983s

Links


Date Body Type
Jan. 30, 2024 Senate Hearing
March 21, 2024 Senate Floor Vote
April 17, 2024 House Hearing
April 19, 2024 House Exec Session
April 19, 2024 House Hearing
April 19, 2024 House Exec Session
April 17, 2024 House Hearing
April 19, 2024 House Hearing
April 24, 2024 House Exec Session
April 24, 2024 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

SB578 Revision: 41374 Date: April 3, 2024, 9:57 a.m.
SB578 Revision: 41084 Date: March 6, 2024, 3:28 p.m.
SB578 Revision: 40308 Date: Dec. 29, 2023, 10:37 a.m.

Docket


April 16, 2024: Executive Session: 04/24/2024 11:00 am LOB 202-204


April 11, 2024: ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 04/19/2024 01:00 pm LOB 202-204


April 16, 2024: Executive Session: 04/24/2024 11:00 am LOB 202-204


April 11, 2024: ==CANCELLED== Public Hearing: 04/19/2024 09:30 am LOB 202-204


April 16, 2024: Public Hearing: 04/17/2024 12:00 pm LOB 202-204


April 16, 2024: Public Hearing: 04/17/2024 12:00 pm LOB 202-204


April 11, 2024: ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 04/19/2024 01:00 pm LOB 202-204


April 11, 2024: ==CANCELLED== Public Hearing: 04/19/2024 09:30 am LOB 202-204


April 10, 2024: Executive Session: 04/19/2024 09:30 am LOB 202-204


April 10, 2024: Public Hearing: 04/17/2024 12:00 pm LOB 202-204


April 2, 2024: Introduced (in recess of) 03/28/2024 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 10


March 21, 2024: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2024-0983s, MA, VV; OT3rdg; 03/21/2024; SJ 7


March 21, 2024: Committee Amendment # 2024-0983s, AA, VV; 03/21/2024; SJ 7


March 8, 2024: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment #2024-0983s, 03/21/2024; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 11


Jan. 24, 2024: Hearing: 01/30/2024, Room 100, SH, 02:00 pm; SC 5


Dec. 14, 2023: To Be Introduced 01/03/2024 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 1