BILL ANALYSIS Ó Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair AB 239 (Ammiano) Hearing Date: 07/11/2011 Amended: 06/28/2011 Consultant: Jolie Onodera Policy Vote: Public Safety 6-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: AB 239 would require the Crime Laboratory Review Task Force (CLRTF) to be reconvened to submit a supplemental report to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2013, that contains recommendations regarding the composition of a statewide oversight body that would perform tasks related to crime laboratories, as specified. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Fund DOJ to reconvene CLRTF $68 $68 $0 General CLRTF member Potential state-reimbursable costs toGeneral participation local agency participants in excess of $100 Supplemental report Substantial future cost pressure ifGen/Fed oversight body convened _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. Existing law requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish and chair the CLRTF, comprised of representatives from various state and local agencies to conduct a review of California's crime laboratory system. Members shall include representatives from various crime laboratory entities, state and local law enforcement, the California District Attorneys Association, the Public Defenders Association, the Judicial Council, the Legislature, and the Governor's Office. Under current law, the CLRTF is to review and make recommendations as AB 239 (Ammiano) Page 1 to how best to configure, fund, and improve the delivery of state and local crime laboratory services in the future, seeking input from specialized law enforcement disciplines, other state and local agencies, relevant advocacy groups, and the public. A final report of the CLRTF findings was submitted to the Department of Finance and the Legislature in 2009. This bill would require the task force to be reconvened for the purpose of preparing a supplemental report to be submitted to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2013, containing recommendations regarding the composition of a statewide oversight body that would perform the following tasks: § Implement federal legislation or guidelines imposed directly on crime laboratories or imposed indirectly as a requirement for receiving a grant; § Oversee investigations into acts of misconduct or negligence committed by any employee or contractor of a crime laboratory; § Collect data generated by investigations in order to determine the root causes of crimes; § Identify systemic failures and make recommendations for preventing future problems; § Study methods to facilitate communication between laboratories and stakeholders and draft guidelines for disclosure and discovery of crime laboratory documents; § Make recommendations to the Legislature and local governmental entities regarding the allocation of resources to crime laboratories throughout the state to ensure that taxpayers' funds are maximized and distributed in a more equitable manner. The DOJ indicates one-time costs of $136,000 over two years to administer the Task Force. Costs include temporary staffing, operating expenses, equipment, and travel costs. Although not keyed as a reimbursable mandate, by requiring additional duties upon CLRTF members to provide a supplemental report could result in state-reimbursable costs in excess of $100,000 to local agencies. There may be substantial future cost pressure to implement the recommendations of the CLRTF, once developed. The extent of those costs and the agencies that would incur those costs are unknown at this time but would be significant, and would be dependent upon the specific recommendations outlined in the AB 239 (Ammiano) Page 2 report regarding the composition of the oversight body and the responsible entities to complete the tasks required to be performed. Prior Legislation. AB 1079 (Richardson) 2007 created the original CLRTF, which completed its initial required report in 2009.