Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

125 th General Assembly of Ohio

Ohio Legislative Service Commission

77 South High Street, 9th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215-6136 ² Phone: (614) 466-3615

² Internet Web Site: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/

BILL:

H.B. 316

DATE:

January 27, 2004

STATUS:

As Introduced

SPONSOR:

Rep. Wolpert

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No —

Offsetting savings

 


CONTENTS:

Provides sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and county correctional officers with qualified immunity from damages caused by outside work details consisting of prisoners imprisoned for nonviolent offenses who volunteer for the work detail

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

·        The bill appears unlikely to directly affect annual state revenues and expenditures.

Local Fiscal Highlights

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2004

FY 2005

FUTURE YEARS

Counties

     Revenues

Potential negligible

loss, likely to be more than offset by related expenditure reduction

Potential negligible

loss, likely to be more

than offset by related expenditure reduction

Potential negligible annual loss, likely to be more

than offset by related expenditure reduction

     Expenditures

Potential savings, possibly exceeding minimal in some jurisdictions

Potential savings,

possibly exceeding

minimal in some jurisdictions

Potential annual savings,

possibly exceeding

minimal in some

jurisdictions

Municipalities

     Revenues

Potential negligible

loss, likely to be more than offset by related expenditure reduction

Potential negligible

loss, likely to be more

than offset by related expenditure reduction

Potential negligible annual loss, likely to be more

than offset by related expenditure reduction

     Expenditures

Potential minimal savings

Potential minimal

savings

Potential minimal

annual savings

Note:  For most local governments, the fiscal year is the calendar year.  The school district fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

 

·        Local expenditure effects generally.  A county or municipality in which a civil action affected by the bill’s qualified civil immunity would have been tried may realize a reduction in adjudication costs, including those associated with jury trials, as certain civil actions may not be initiated or come to trial.  Annual county expenditures for legal services could drop, as fewer civil actions may materialize in which the county is a defendant.  The bill may also reduce the amount that a county would otherwise have to pay out annually to settle such matters.  (A potential indirect fiscal effect should some formal civil actions be prevented or curtailed may be that the growth in annual insurance premiums that a county might otherwise experience could be reduced or constrained.)

·        Potential local expenditure savings.  The size of these potential decreases in annual county expenditures related to adjudicating, defending, and settling civil actions for damages under such circumstances is impossible to predict with much precision at this time, but presumably could exceed minimal on occasion.  The potential savings for a municipality would be in relation to adjudicating such civil actions and seems unlikely to exceed minimal as the bringing of civil actions under the circumstances specified by the bill are infrequent.

·        Certain county and municipal revenues.  Counties and municipalities may lose some revenues, as fewer civil actions may be initiated or move into the trial phase.  As the bringing of such civil actions under the circumstances specified by the bill appears to be relatively infrequent, there should be very few civil actions affected by the bill in any given county or municipality and the potential loss in related annual filing fee and court cost revenues for that county or municipality would be unlikely to exceed negligible. 

·        County sheriffs.  The bill’s requirement that certain individuals be given prior written notice with regard to a prisoner work detail should not require a significant amount of additional work for a county sheriff that utilizes prisoners on work details outside of their county correctional facility.  Presumably, this type of prisoner work detail information can be provided within the normal scope of everyday administrative duties, and any related increase in annual administrative or operational costs would be negligible.

 


 


 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

Operation of the bill

 

The bill provides a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or county correctional officer a qualified civil immunity under certain circumstances for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused or suffered by a prisoner voluntarily working on the work detail. 

 

According to the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, a civil action is occasionally brought against a political subdivision or a political subdivision employee to recover damages under these specified circumstances, but in general the bringing of such civil actions is relatively infrequent.

 

Local fiscal effects

 

Civil actions

 

To the extent that the bill’s provision of a qualified civil immunity to a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or county correctional officer under certain circumstances limits or curtails the bringing of civil actions for damages, several potential fiscal effects on county and municipal revenues and expenditures are possible.

 

Expenditures.  On the expenditure side, a county or municipality in which such a civil action would have been tried may realize a reduction in adjudication costs, including those associated with jury trials, as certain civil actions may not be initiated or come to trial.  Annual county expenditures for legal services could drop, as fewer civil actions may materialize in which the county is a defendant.  The bill may also reduce the amount that a county would otherwise have to pay out annually to settle such matters.  (A potential indirect fiscal effect, should some formal civil actions be prevented or curtailed, may be that the growth in annual insurance premiums that a county might otherwise experience could be reduced or constrained.)

 

The size of these potential decreases in annual county expenditures related to adjudicating, defending, and settling civil actions for damages under such circumstances is impossible to predict with much precision at this time, but presumably could exceed minimal on occasion.  The potential savings for a municipality would be in relation to adjudicating such civil actions and seems unlikely to exceed minimal as the bringing of civil actions under the circumstances specified by the bill are infrequent.

 

Revenues.  Counties and municipalities may lose some revenues, as fewer civil actions may be initiated or move into the trial phase.  As the bringing of such civil actions under the circumstances specified by the bill appears to be relatively infrequent, there should be very few civil actions affected by the bill in any given county or municipality and the potential loss in related annual filing fee and court cost revenues for that county or municipality would be unlikely to exceed negligible.  The lost annual filing fee and court cost revenues in any given county or municipality would likely be more than offset by a related expenditure reduction.


Notice of prisoner work detail

 

            The bill also requires the officer having charge of a county correctional facility who intends to have county prisoners work outside the facility on a work detail to provide advanced written notice of certain information relating to the work detail to the chief executive officer of any municipal corporation and township clerk of any township in which the prisoners will be working.  This information would include the expected date or dates on which the work will be performed, the approximate location, the nature of the work, and the approximate number of prisoners who will be working on the work detail.

 

This written notice requirement should not require a significant amount of additional work for a county sheriff that utilizes prisoners on work details outside their county correctional facility.  Nor should this written notice requirement necessitate the hiring of additional personnel or result in increased overtime for a given county sheriff’s department.  Presumably, this type of prisoner work detail information can be provided within the normal scope of everyday administrative duties, and any related annual increase in administrative or operational costs would be negligible.

 

State fiscal effects

 

The bill appears unlikely to directly affect annual state revenues and expenditures.

 

 

 

LSC fiscal staff:  Joseph Rogers, Budget Analyst

 

HB0316IN.doc/lb