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 Phone: (614) 466-3615

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

BILL:

Sub. H.B. 525

DATE:

December 8, 2004

STATUS:

As Reported by Senate Judiciary

SPONSOR:

Rep. Latta

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No ó

Possible indirect local effects

 


CONTENTS:

Requires DNA specimen collection from delinquent children and criminal offenders for all felonies, makes other changes relating to the collection and use of DNA specimens, extends for one year the period of time for certain inmates to request DNA testing, clarifies the applicability of Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code to offenders who committed their offense prior to July 1, 1996, and to those who committed their offense on or after that date, specifies who collects DNA specimens from juvenile offenders when the juvenile is not committed to the Department of Youth Services or other specified facilities, and gives the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction rule-making authority over the collection of a DNA specimen from an offender whose supervision is transferred to Ohio from another state

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

STATE FUND

FY 2005

FY 2006

FUTURE YEARS

General Revenue Fund (GRF)

†††† Revenues

Potential

negligible gain

Potential

negligible gain

Potential

negligible annual gain

†††† Expenditures

Factors potentially increasing and decreasing costs with net fiscal

effect uncertain

Factors potentially increasing and decreasing costs with net fiscal

effect uncertain

Factors potentially

increasing and decreasing costs with net annual fiscal effect uncertain

Victims of Crime/Reparations Fund (Fund 402)

†††† Revenues

Potential

negligible gain

Potential

negligible gain

Potential

negligible annual gain

†††† Expenditures

Up to $2.9 million or more increase in first year, depending on availability of federal payments to contractors

Up to $2.2 million or more increase, depending on availability of federal payments to contractors

Up to $2.2 million or more annual increase, depending on availability of federal payments to contractors

Note:The state fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.For example, FY 2005 is July 1, 2004 Ė June 30, 2005.

 

        DNA specimen collection.The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) is responsible for the expenses related to the processing and handling of the collected DNA samples, and provides all necessary materials and postage to the state and local entities involved in the DNA specimen collection.According to the Office of the Attorney General, the total cost of processing, materials, and postage for DNA samples is currently around $47 per specimen.If one assumes that the cost of analyzing an estimated 62,500 additional DNA specimens in the first year of implementation at about $47 per specimen, the additional first yearís cost to BCII would be roughly $2.9 million.The Bureauís subsequent costs would be approximately $2.2 million annually thereafter ($47 per sample x an estimated 47,500 samples = $2,232,500).

        Relatives of Missing Persons Database.The bill expands the list of relatives who may submit a DNA specimen for inclusion in the Relatives of Missing Persons Database, which is managed by BCII.As of this writing, BCII has not had the opportunity to respond to the questions that LSC fiscal staff has posed relative to the potential fiscal effects of this expansion to the Relatives of Missing Persons Database.Thus, whether this provision of the bill will create additional ongoing operating expenses, and the potential magnitude of such costs, is uncertain.

        State incarceration costs.It appears likely that additional criminal offenders and delinquent children will be committed to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) and the Department of Youth Services (DYS), as the number of DNA specimens entered into the system should assist local law enforcement in solving crimes.How many cases and offenders will be affected is unclear at this time.Thus, the magnitude of the potential increase in annual state incarceration costs is rather problematic to estimate as of this writing.As both state agencies are currently collecting a relatively large number of DNA specimens from their existing institutional populations, it seems unlikely that the number of additional DNA specimens that would be collected as a result of the bill will generate a costly ongoing institutional operating expense.

        Availability of federal funds.In recent years, the federal government, largely through the Department of Justice, had been involved in providing grant moneys to help states defray the cost of DNA specimen processing.However, for a period of time, those funds dried up, creating a backlog of unprocessed DNA specimens.As of July 2004, BCII contracted with four firms to process these samples using moneys from the Victims of Crime/Reparations Fund (Fund 402).Since that time, BCII has been made aware that the federal government is again going to be providing moneys to assist in the DNA specimen processing.Unlike what is often the case where the federal government provides moneys either through grants or reimbursement of expenses; in this case, the federal government will be paying for the services directly to the DNA processing firms.

         Court cost and fine revenues.The successful prosecution of additional criminal offenders and delinquent children means that the state may realize a gain in locally collected state court costs that are deposited into the GRF and the Victims of Crime/Reparations Fund (Fund 402).As it appears that the number of those successful additional prosecutions is likely to be relatively small, the amount of additional state court cost revenues that might be collected annually is likely to be negligible.

        Offenses committed prior to, on, or after July 1, 1996.The bill will likely produce some savings effect for DRC in that clarifying the applicability of Am. Sub. S.B. 2 of the 121st General Assembly may eliminate future litigation and perhaps bring pending litigation to a more abrupt conclusion.Additionally, DRC would not have to develop separate standards and procedures for pre-S.B. 2 inmates, with respect to policies established in Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code, thus realizing a savings effect in terms of reduced staff workload and improved efficiency in daily institutional operations.

        Extending DNA testing deadline.As of this writing, LSC fiscal staff has not had sufficient opportunity to develop an estimate of the remaining number of inmates that satisfy the qualifying criteria, yet have not petitioned for a post-conviction DNA test pursuant to Sub. S.B. 11 of the 125th General Assembly.That said, it is difficult to accurately determine how many new inmates would petition for testing during the extended one-year period as provided for in the bill.Thus, the magnitude of the potential one-time fiscal effect on the state, if any, is uncertain.

        DRC rule-making authority.The bill gives DRC rule-making authority to determine the method for collecting DNA specimens from probated and paroled offenders received from jurisdictions outside of Ohio under the Interstate Compact for Adult Supervision.Any expenses associated with the exercising of this rule-making authority would likely be a one-time administrative activity simply absorbed into DRCís ongoing costs of doing business.

Local Fiscal Highlights

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2005

FY 2006

FUTURE YEARS

Counties and Municipalities

†††† Revenues

Potential minimal gain

in court costs and fines

Potential minimal gain

in court costs and fines

Potential minimal annual gain in court costs and fines

†††† Expenditures

(1) Potential increase,

not likely to exceed minimal; (2) Uncertain one-time county criminal justice system cost increase related to extending existing inmate DNA testing deadline

Potential increase,

not likely to exceed

minimal

Potential increase,

not likely to exceed

minimal annually

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

 

        Criminal and juvenile cases.†† By expanding the number of DNA specimens that will be entered into BCIIís database, it is likely that criminal offenders and delinquent children who might otherwise have avoided arrest and prosecution for an offense or violation could be apprehended and subsequently found to have committed a criminal offense or violated the law.This outcome would create new cases for local criminal and juvenile justice systems to resolve, which could increase a countyís or municipalityís annual costs associated with investigating, prosecuting, defending (if the adult or child is indigent), adjudicating, and sanctioning the offender or violator.It would appear that the number of such new criminal and juvenile cases that might be created annually will be relatively small and that any associated increase in annual local criminal and juvenile justice system expenditures is not likely to exceed minimal.

        Local DNA specimen collection costs.It seems unlikely that the collection of additional DNA specimens will create a costly ongoing operating expense for local criminal and juvenile justice systems as trained local personnel should already be in place and the stateís BCII is responsible for providing all materials necessary for locals to perform all DNA specimens.The locals pay only for the labor involved in DNA specimen collection.With the current specimen collection (mouth swabs), collection requires less medical expertise or time than previously used collection methods.

        Court cost and fine revenues.The successful prosecution of additional criminal offenders and delinquent children means that counties and municipalities may gain court cost and fine revenues.As it appears that the number of those successful additional prosecutions is likely to be relatively small, the amount of additional local revenues that might be collected annually is likely to be no more than minimal.

        Coronerís duties.The bill modifies the duties of the county coroner to require that certain actions be taken with regard to ďunidentified remainsĒ that are already required to be taken with regard to unidentified bodies.After speaking with interested parties, LSC fiscal staff has concluded this modification to the duties of the coroner is essentially codifying existing practice.Thus, no additional work and related costs should presumably be created for the coroner of any given county.

        Extending DNA testing deadline.As of this writing, LSC fiscal staff has not had sufficient opportunity to develop an estimate of the remaining number of inmates that satisfy the qualifying criteria, yet have not petitioned for a post-conviction DNA test pursuant to Sub. S.B. 11 of the 125th General Assembly.That said, it is difficult to accurately determine how many new inmates would petition for testing during the extended one-year period as provided for in the bill.Thus, the magnitude of the potential one-time fiscal effect on county criminal justice systems, if any, is uncertain.

        Probation departments.The bill requires that DNA specimens be collected from certain adult and juvenile offenders who are not committed to certain specified state or local facilities.As of this writing, LSC fiscal staff has not collected any evidence suggesting that the associated costs would generate a significant annual fiscal burden for any affected local probation department.

 



 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

††††††††††† For the purposes of this fiscal analysis, the bill most notably:

 

        Requires DNA specimen collection from delinquent children and criminal offenders for all felonies and certain misdemeanors; generally those misdemeanor offenses that:(1) arose out of the same facts and circumstances as did certain felonies charged against the person and (2) involved complicity in committing or attempting to commit certain felonies.

        Extends the time period for certain inmates to request DNA testing by one year.

        Requires removal of unidentified remains to the county morgue.

        Requires a coroner to transfer DNA information to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation regarding unidentified remains.

        Expands the list of relatives who may submit a DNA specimen for inclusion in the Relatives of Missing Persons Database.

        Clarifies the applicability of Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code to inmates who committed their offense prior to, on, or after July 1, 1996.

 

State expenditure effects

 

Three state entities are currently involved in collecting and analyzing DNA specimens that certain criminal offenders and delinquent children are required to provide:(1) the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), (2) the Department of Youth Services (DYS), and (3) the Office of the Attorney Generalís Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII).The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Department of Youth Services are involved with the collection and forwarding of the required DNA specimens to BCII.The bulk of the expenses related to the bill, however, will fall on BCII, which is essentially the lead state agency in administering the existing DNA specimen collection procedure.

 

Felony convictions and delinquency adjudications

 

Criminal offenders.For calendar year 2002, the most recent year for which felony conviction data was readily available, there were approximately 56,000 adult convictions.

 

Delinquent children.Data from DYS indicates that, for the last four fiscal years, there have been roughly 10,000 juvenile adjudications annually for offenses that would be felonies if committed by an adult.Of those annual adjudications, however, the number committed to the care and custody of DYS is relatively low.For example, in FY 2002, there were roughly 1,500 youth committed to DYS.

 

DNA specimen collection population.Using the above information, for the purposes of this fiscal analysis, LSC fiscal staff estimates that the total number of criminal offenders and delinquent children that are currently required, or would be required under the bill, to provide a DNA specimen at 57,500 or more annually.What is uncertain as of this writing is the number of criminal offenders and delinquent children that are imprisoned or confined in a local facility, in particular for committing certain misdemeanors or what would have been a misdemeanor if committed by an adult.

 

Currently, an estimated 10,000 or so criminal offenders and delinquent children are subject to DNA specimen collection annually.If one subtracts this estimate of 10,000 from the above-estimated total number of criminal offenders and delinquent children that are currently required, or would be required under the bill, to provide a DNA specimen (57,500), the remainder represents an estimate of the total number of additional criminal offenders and delinquent children that would be required to submit a DNA specimen:47,500.This number, however, does not include criminal offenders and delinquent children currently in the custody of DRC and DYS, respectively, who would also be required to submit a DNA specimen if in the custody of the state at the time that the bill becomes effective.

 

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction reports that 67% of its current total inmate population (30,183 offenders) has already been subject to the requirement of providing a DNA specimen.This leaves 33% of its current total inmate population (14,866 offenders) who would be subject to providing a DNA specimen under the bill.

 

The number of delinquent children currently in the custody of DYS that could be similarly affected is uncertain at this time.However, DYS has a total population of about 2,000 youth at any given time and because the Department typically receives serious felony delinquents many of these youth are likely to already be subject to DNA specimen collection under current law; therefore, it appears unlikely that the figures from DYS will significantly alter this fiscal analysis.

 

For the purposes of this fiscal analysis, the total number of additional criminal offenders and delinquent children likely to be required to provide a DNA specimen as a result of the bill is estimated at 62,500 (rounded for analytic ease) in the first year after enactment, and 47,500 annually thereafter.

 

Office of the Attorney General/Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation

 

The Office of the Attorney Generalís Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) is the state agency responsible for the management of the Ohio DNA database, called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).The Bureau is also responsible for the expenses related to the processing and handling of the collected DNA samples, and provides all necessary materials and postage to the state and local entities involved in the DNA specimen collection.

 

According to the Office of the Attorney General, the total cost of processing, materials, and postage for DNA samples is currently around $47 per specimen.If one assumes that the cost of analyzing the previously estimated 62,500 additional DNA specimens in the first year of implementation at about $47 per specimen, the additional first yearís cost to BCII would be roughly $2.9 million.The Bureauís subsequent costs would be approximately $2.2 million annually thereafter ($47 per sample x 47,500 samples = $2,232,500).

 

In order to speed the processing of its existing workload of DNA specimen collections, the Office of the Attorney General is currently contracting out much of its DNA analysis work.

 

Relatives of Missing Persons Database.The bill expands the list of relatives who may submit a DNA specimen for inclusion in the Relatives of Missing Persons Database, which is managed by BCII.Under current law, generally parents and children of the missing person may submit a DNA specimen for inclusion in the database.The bill would allow any blood relative of a missing person to submit a DNA specimen.

 

As of this writing, BCII has not had the opportunity to respond to the questions that LSC fiscal staff has posed relative to the potential fiscal effects of this expansion to the Relatives of Missing Persons Database.Thus, whether this provision of the bill will create additional ongoing operating expenses, and the potential magnitude of such costs, is uncertain.However, previous testimony from BCII indicates the federal government has expressed support for this policy, thus may be a source of financial support for expenses incurred due to this provision of the bill.

 

Availability of federal funds

 

In recent years, the federal government, largely through the Department of Justice, had been involved in providing grant moneys to help states defray the cost of DNA specimen processing.However, for a period of time, those funds dried up, creating a backlog of unprocessed DNA specimens.As of July 2004, BCII contracted with four firms to process these samples using moneys from the Victims of Crime/Reparations Fund (Fund 402).Since that time, BCII has been made aware that the federal government is again going to be providing moneys to assist in the DNA specimen processing.

 

Unlike what is often the case where the federal government provides moneys either through grants or reimbursement of expenses; in this case, the federal government will be paying for the services directly to the DNA processing firms.At this time, the federal government has promised nearly $1 million to be paid for DNA specimen processing; however, it is unclear what will happen after those moneys are exhausted.At that time, the federal government may make more financial assistance available, or it may not.Any funds necessary to continue paying for DNA specimen processing would likely then be paid from the Victims of Crime/Reparations Fund (Fund 402).

 

Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and Department of Youth Services

 

DNA collection costs.In the first year following official notice by BCII, DRC and DYS would be required to collect and forward DNA specimens from certain additional incoming criminal offenders and delinquent children, as well as certain criminal offenders and delinquent children in custody at that time.DNA specimens are now taken entirely by performing a mouth swab of each criminal offender or delinquent child.This process is much quicker, easier, and less expensive than the older method that required blood to be drawn.This blood draw required qualified medical personnel to perform.The current method should be less expensive in that medical personnel are not necessary for the process, instead any trained personnel of DRC or DYS is able to take the DNA specimen.

 

Rule-making authority.The bill gives DRC rule-making authority to determine the method for collecting DNA specimens from probated and paroled offenders received from jurisdictions outside of Ohio under the Interstate Compact for Adult Supervision.Any expenses associated with the exercising of this rule-making authority would likely be a one-time administrative activity simply absorbed into DRCís ongoing costs of doing business.

 

State incarceration costs.It also appears likely that additional criminal offenders and delinquent children will be committed to DRC and DYS, as the number of DNA specimens entered into the system should assist local law enforcement in solving crimes.How many cases and offenders will be affected is unclear at this time.Thus, the magnitude of the potential increase in annual state incarceration costs is rather problematic to estimate as of this writing.

 

Extending DNA testing deadline

 

The bill extends, by one year, a mechanism in existing law that permits inmates currently serving a sentence for felony convictions to petition for a post-conviction DNA test provided certain specific qualifying criteria are met.To qualify, an inmate must have a felony conviction that resulted in either a death sentence or a prison term with at least one year remaining at the time that the DNA testing petition is filed.Additionally, applications for DNA testing must be rejected by the court of common pleas if the requesting inmate had a prior definitive DNA test on the same evidence that the inmate is in effect petitioning to have tested again.In other words, if the evidence was already tested at trial and the results were definitive, the inmate is not eligible for a DNA test under existing law.Previously tested inmates can still apply for post-conviction DNA testing if the inmate can successfully argue that the original test was inconclusive.

 

As of this writing, LSC fiscal staff has not had sufficient opportunity to develop an estimate of the remaining number of inmates that satisfy the qualifying criteria, yet have not petitioned for a post-conviction DNA test.That said, it is difficult to accurately determine how many new inmates would petition for testing during the extended one-year period as provided for in the bill.Thus, the magnitude of the potential one-time fiscal effect on the state and county criminal justice systems, if any, is uncertain.

 

Offenses committed prior to, on, or after July 1, 1996

 

The bill clarifies the applicability of sections in Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code to standardize the application of these certain provisions to offenders who committed their offense prior to July 1, 1996, the effective date of Am. Sub. S.B. 2 of the 121st General Assembly, and on or after that date. This provision of the bill, in effect, codifies the existing DRC practice, which treats offenders, incarcerated before, on, or after the enactment of S.B. 2, in the same manner with respect to policies, enumerated in Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code, that establish co-pays for medical services, testing for infectious diseases, and other institutional practices. Some of these policies have been challenged in the courts as not being applicable to pre-S.B. 2 inmates. The bill makes it clear that policies established in Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code apply equally to inmates regardless of the date of incarceration.

 

This provision of the bill will likely produce some savings effect for DRC in that clarifying the applicability issue may eliminate future litigation and perhaps bring pending litigation to a more abrupt conclusion.Additionally, DRC would not have to develop separate standards and procedures for pre-S.B. 2 inmates, with respect to policies established in Chapter 5120. of the Revised Code, thus realizing a savings effect in terms of a reduced staff workload and improved efficiency in daily institutional operations.

 

Local expenditure effects

 

The bill creates three areas of potential fiscal effects for local governments, in particular counties, as follows:(1) expenditures related to the collection of DNA specimens from additional criminal offenders and delinquent children, (2) new criminal cases that may be generated from the matching of these collected DNA specimens to DNA samples taken from crime scenes, and (3) DNA specimens required to be collected from certain adult and juvenile offenders who are not committed to certain specified state or local facilities.

 

DNA specimen collection costs

 

The bill appears unlikely to result in more than a minimal increase in expenditures for local criminal and juvenile justice systems in relation to the collection of DNA specimens due to the following:

 

        Prior enacted legislation has already created a role for local entities in the collection of DNA specimens.Thus, trained local personnel should already be in place.

        BCII is responsible for providing all materials necessary for locals to perform all DNA specimen collections.

        The only notable local expense would appear to be the labor involved in DNA specimen collection.With the current specimen collection method (mouth swabs), collection requires less medical expertise or time than previously used collection methods.

 

Criminal and juvenile cases

 

By expanding the number of DNA specimens that will be entered into BCIIís database, it is likely that criminal offenders and delinquent children who might otherwise have avoided arrest and prosecution for an offense or violation could be apprehended and subsequently found to have committed a criminal offense or violated the law.This outcome would create new cases for local criminal and juvenile justice systems to resolve, which could increase a countyís or municipalityís annual costs associated with investigating, prosecuting, defending (if the adult or child is indigent), adjudicating, and sanctioning the offender or violator.It would appear that the number of such new criminal and juvenile cases that might be created annually will be relatively small and that any associated increase in annual local criminal and juvenile justice system expenditures is not likely to exceed minimal.

 


Coronerís duties

 

The bill modifies the duties of the county coroner to require that certain actions be taken with regard to ďunidentified remainsĒ that are already required to be taken with regard to unidentified bodies.After speaking with interested parties, LSC fiscal staff has concluded this modification to the duties of the coroner is essentially codifying existing practice.Thus, no additional work and related costs should presumably be created for the coroner of any given county.

 

Extending DNA testing deadline

 

As of this writing, LSC fiscal staff has not had sufficient opportunity to develop an estimate of the remaining number of inmates that satisfy the qualifying criteria, yet have not petitioned for a post-conviction DNA test pursuant to Sub. S.B. 11 of the 125th General Assembly.That said, it is difficult to accurately determine how many new inmates would petition for testing during the extended one-year period as provided for in the bill.Thus, the magnitude of the potential one-time fiscal effect on county criminal justice systems, if any, is uncertain.

 

State and local court cost and fine revenues

 

The successful prosecution of additional criminal offenders and delinquent children also means that the state and local governments may gain revenues.Counties and municipalities may collect additional court cost and fine revenues and the state may realize additional locally collected state court costs that are deposited into the GRF and the Victims of Crime/Reparations Fund (Fund 402).As it appears that the number of those successful additional prosecutions is likely to be relatively small, the amount of additional local revenues that might be collected annually is likely to be no more than minimal and the amount of additional state revenues that might be collected annually will likely be negligible.

 

 

 

 

LSC fiscal staff:Laura A. Potts, Budget Analyst

††††††††††††††††††††††† Joe Rogers, Budget Analyst

 

HB0525SR.doc/lb