Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

126 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. S.B. 171

DATE:

December 6, 2006

STATUS:

As Passed by the Senate

SPONSOR:

Sen. Coughlin

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No —

No local cost in the As Introduced version; substitute version carries costs exceeding minimal for Summit County

 


CONTENTS:

Clarifies that the former township of Northampton is no longer within the jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court and adds an additional judge for the Summit County Court of Common Pleas

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

STATE FUND

FY 2006

FY 2007*

FUTURE YEARS

General Revenue Fund

     Revenues

- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -

     Expenditures

- 0 -

Estimated $63,471 increase

Estimated $126,942 increase in FY 2008, followed by annual increases of up to 3.0% or more through FY 2009

Note:  The state fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.  For example, FY 2006 is July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007.

* The additional common pleas court judge will be elected for a term to begin in January 2007.

 

·        Sub. H.B. 336.  The General Assembly has enacted Sub. H.B. 336, which added two judges to the general division of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas to be elected in 2008.  The additional judge that is the subject of this bill (S.B. 171) was to have been elected in 2006, term to begin January 1, 2007.  Although that clearly can no longer be the case, the fiscal analysis contained herein still assumes it could happen for the purposes of giving the reader a sense of the relative magnitude of state fiscal effects.

·        Summit County Court of Common Pleas.  Starting with FY 2008, the annual amount in GRF funding that the Supreme Court of Ohio will disburse in the form of state support for the new judge added to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas is estimated at $126,941, which consists of:  (1) $104,050 in salary, (2) $14,328 in PERS contributions, and (3) $8,563 in miscellaneous other contributions.  As the term of the new judge does not begin until halfway through the state’s FY 2007, the amount of state financial support that will be disbursed in that fiscal year is expected to be half the estimated annual cost, or $63,471.  Currently, the state has statutorily prescribed annual pay increases in the state share of the salary of common pleas court judges through calendar year 2008. 

·        Akron Municipal Court jurisdiction.  The provision of the bill clarifying the jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court are not expected to have a fiscal effect on the state.


Local Fiscal Highlights

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2006

FY 2007*

FUTURE YEARS

Summit County

     Revenues

- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -

     Expenditures

- 0 -

(1) Increase estimated at $15,939 for judicial salary and benefits; (2) Additional personnel expenses estimated at $250,000 plus the cost of benefits; (3) No capital improvements costs

(1) Increase estimated at $15,939 for judicial salary
and benefits; (2) Additional personnel expenses
estimated at $250,000 plus
the cost of benefits

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

* The additional common pleas court judge will be elected for a term to begin in January 2007.

 

·        Sub. H.B. 336.  The General Assembly has enacted Sub. H.B. 336, which added two judges to the general division of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas to be elected in 2008.  The additional judge that is the subject of this bill (S.B. 171) was to have been elected in 2006, term to begin January 1, 2007.  Although that clearly can no longer be the case, the fiscal analysis contained herein still assumes it could happen for the purposes of giving the reader a sense of the relative magnitude of local fiscal effects.

·        Summit County Court of Common Pleas.  Starting with FY 2007, the annual salary and benefits for the new judge to be added to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas will cost Summit County $15,939, which is comprised of $14,000 in annual base salary plus fringe benefits.  According to court administrative staff, the new judge will require three additional support staff (one bailiff, one staff attorney, and one judicial assistant).  Salary costs associated with these three staff positions are estimated to total $250,000 per year plus the cost of benefits.  Courtroom space already exists and no further capital expenditures are anticipated.

·        Akron Municipal Court.  The provision of the bill clarifying the jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court is not expected to generate any local fiscal effects.


 


 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

Overview

 

The bill makes the following two changes:  (1) clarifies that the former township of Northampton is no longer within the jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court and (2) adds an additional judge for the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

 

Two additional points relative to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas judgeship also need to be noted.  First, since the Senate passed the bill, the General Assembly has enacted Sub. H.B. 336, which added two judges to the general division of the court who are to be elected in 2008.  Second, the additional judge that is the subject of this bill (S.B. 171) was to have been elected in 2006, term to begin January 1, 2007. Although that clearly can no longer be the case, the fiscal analysis contained herein still assumes it could happen for the purposes of giving the reader a sense of the relative magnitude of state and local fiscal effects.

 

(1) Jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court

 

Since its merger with the City of Cuyahoga Falls in 1985, the former Township of Northampton has been within the jurisdiction of the Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Court.  Prior to the merger, the township was within the jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court.  The bill clarifies current law by deleting an out of date reference to the township that is still included in the statutory description of the jurisdiction of the Akron Municipal Court.  The clarification will have no fiscal effect on the state or any of the affected local jurisdictions.

 

(2) Summit County Court of Common Pleas judgeship

 

The bill adds one additional judge for the Summit County Court of Common Pleas to be elected in 2006, term to begin January 3, 2007.

 

Judicial compensation costs

 

            Base salary.  The annual salary of a judge of a court of common pleas consists of a state-paid share and a local share paid by the county as follows: 

 

·        The local share varies slightly depending on a county’s population as determined by the decennial census.  The local amount is based on 18 cents per capita in the county, but may not be less than $3,500 or more than $14,000.

·        The state share is equal to the annual salary minus the local share.  Sub. H.B. 712 of the 123rd General Assembly provided annual salary increases each year from 2002 through 2008.  The annual salaries of the judges and justices of the court will increase by the lesser of 3% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the 12-month period ending on September 30 of the previous year.  In the case of judges for whom a portion of the salary is paid locally, the entire amount of the increase is added to the state share.

 

The Supreme Court of Ohio’s web site indicates that, when the new judge is added to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas for a term to begin January 3, 2007, the annual salary of a judge of a court of common pleas will be $118,050.  Of that amount, based on the 2005 Census, Summit County will have to pay the maximum of $14,000 as required under current law (Summit County population totals 546,604).  The state will cover the balance of the annual salary, which for the remainder of state FY 2007 (January 3, 2007 through June 30, 2007), amounts to $52,025.  For FY 2008, the first full state fiscal year of the judgeship, the state will expend $104,050 plus whatever cost-of-living increase that is approved for that year by the Supreme Court.

 

Retirement

 

            State and local elected officials are exempt from membership in PERS (Public Employees Retirement System), unless they choose to become members.  Most do.  Therefore, this analysis includes PERS payments, which assumes that the new judge added to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas joins PERS.  The state and local PERS contributions would work as follows:

·        The state contributes at the rate of 13.77% of its supplemental salary amount, while the county pays 13.85% on its base share amount. 

·        Under that PERS contribution formula, Summit County will pay $1,939 annually, while the state will contribute $14,328 in FY 2008, the first full state fiscal year of the new common pleas court judgeship.

 

Other state costs

 

In addition to PERS, the state also makes contributions for other purposes, totaling approximately 8.23%, which includes 1.45% of gross salary for Medicare for all employees hired after April 1986, 0.24% for workers’ compensation, 1.12% for the payroll administration associated with the Department of Administrative Services, and approximately 5.42% in health insurance contributions.  It should be noted that the state’s share in health insurance contributions has been increasing and is expected to continue increasing in the future.  These miscellaneous annual contributions will cost the state $8,563 ($104,050 x 8.23%) in FY 2008, the first full state fiscal year of the new common pleas court judgeship.

 

Other Summit County costs

 

            According to Summit County Court of Common Pleas administrative staff, the new judge will require three additional support staff (one bailiff, one staff attorney, and one judicial assistant).  Salary costs associated with these three staff positions are estimated to total $250,000 per year plus the cost of benefits.  Courtroom space already exists and no further capital expenditures are anticipated.

 

LSC fiscal staff:  Jason A. Walker, Budget Analyst

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