BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                    Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                                           205 (Goldberg)
          Hearing Date:  8/18/03          Amended: 7/16/03       
          Consultant:  K. French & A. Maitland         Policy Vote:  
          Judic: 5-1
                                         Rev&Tax: 4-3  
          BILL SUMMARY: 
          AB 205 enacts the California Domestic Partner Rights and  
          Responsibilities Act of 2003, which recasts the existing  
          Domestic Partnership Act and extends to registered domestic  
          partners substantially all rights, benefits, and  
          obligations of married persons under state law, with the  
          exception of those rights, benefits, and obligations  
          accorded only to married persons by federal law, the  
          California Constitution, or initiative statutes. 
                              Fiscal Impact (in thousands)
          Major Provisions        2003-04       2004-05     2005-06     2006-07   Fund

           CalPERS-Admin.   --------------minor------------------------General
           Retirement  & Death
           benefits        ---------minor, if any increase----------PERF
           Health benefits             
           Agencies       --------------unknown--------------Local
          SOS notifications          minor    --         --            
          Local mandate --------Unknown, offset by filing fees---Local
          Courts        -------Unknown, offset by filing fees----General

          STAFF COMMENTS:  
          In its current form, this bill meets the criteria for  
          referral to the Suspense File.  If the author's amendment  
          noted below is adopted, the bill probably would  not  be a  
          candidate for Suspense.
          As proposed to be amended, the provision allowing  
          registered domestic partners to file a joint income tax  


          return beginning in 2005 would be deleted.  Currently, each  
          partner in a domestic partnership files an income tax  
          return as a single filer or as a head of household if the  
          partner has a dependent.   Medical expenses for a domestic  
          partner can be included in a taxpayer's medical expense  
          deduction.  The provision allowing joint filing was  
          projected by the Franchise Tax Board to reduce General Fund  
          revenue $500,000 in the current year, $4 million in 2004-05  
          and $5 million in 2005-06.  In addition, FTB would incur  
          administrative costs. 

          Staff recommends the bill be amended on page 6, line 38, to  
          strike the word "subdivision" and insert "section."  This  
          amendment will ensure that AB 205 does not jeopardize the  
          tax-qualified status of the long-term care insurance plans  
          provided by the CalPERS Long Term Care Program.

          CalPERS notes that costs for increased benefit eligibility  
          associated with this bill would be minor and would not  
          result in an increase in rates or actuarial assumptions.   
          Domestic partners already have rights with respect to  
          health benefits, which is the most costly area.  AB 205  
          will increase costs for contracting agencies, because it  
          eliminates a contracting agency's discretion in providing  
          health coverage for domestic partners of its employees and  
          annuitants.  Assuming an additional 600 enrollees at an  
          annual cost of $2,400 per enrollee, costs to employers and  
          emplloyees could be $1.8 million annually.  A precise  
          figure for the additional cost to employers of this  
          extended coverage is not possible, because public agencies  
          have different employer contribution amounts.