BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                  AB 1657
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  March 27, 2012
          Counsel:       Milena Blake


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                  AB 1657 (Wieckowski) - As Amended:  March 22, 2012
           

          SUMMARY  :   Adds an additional penalty assessment of $1 to every 
          fine, penalty or forfeiture deposit imposed by any court on 
          violations of specified Vehicle Code sections or local ordinance 
          adopted pursuant to the vehicle code.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires these assessments be deposited with the county 
            treasurer and distributed each month to the spinal cord injury 
            research fund created within the University of California.  

          2)Allows the University of California to establish the Roman 
            Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Penalty Account.

          3)Allows the county treasurer to withhold sufficient funds to 
            reimburse the county and the courts for their actual, 
            reasonable, and necessary costs in administering this 
            assessment.  If funds are withheld, an accounting report must 
            be sent to the Regents of the University of California.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Authorizes the University of California to establish a spinal 
            cord injury research fund independent of the State Treasury, 
            to accept public and private funds for the purpose of 
            implementing this chapter.  (Health and Safety Code Section 
            104336.)

          2)States that there shall be levied a state penalty in the 
            amount of $10 for every $10, or part of $10, upon every fine, 
            penalty, or forfeiture imposed and collected by the courts for 
            all criminal offenses, including all offenses, except 
            specified parking offenses, involving a violation of a section 
            of the Vehicle Code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to 
            the Vehicle Code.  ›Penal Code Section 1464(a).]

             a)   Provides any bail schedule may include the necessary 








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               amount to pay the penalties established by this section, 
               and the surcharge for all matters where a personal 
               appearance is not mandatory and the bail is posted 
               primarily to guarantee payment of the fine.

             b)   States that the penalty imposed by this section does not 
               apply to the following:

               i)     Any restitution fine.

               ii)    Specified Government Code penalties.

               iii)   Specified parking offenses.  

               iv)    A specified state surcharge.

          3)Specifies where multiple offenses are involved, the state 
            penalty shall be based upon the total fine or bail for each 
            case.  When a fine is suspended, in whole or in part, the 
            state penalty shall be reduced in proportion to the 
            suspension.  ›Penal Code Section 1464(b).]  

          4)States when any deposited bail is made for an offense to which 
            this section applies, and for which a court appearance is not 
            mandatory, the person making the deposit shall also deposit a 
            sufficient amount to include the state penalty prescribed by 
            this section for forfeited bail.  If bail is returned, the 
            state penalty paid thereon pursuant to this section shall also 
            be returned.  ›Penal Code Section 1464(c).]  

          5)Provides that in any case where a person convicted of any 
            offense, to which this section applies, is in prison until the 
            fine is satisfied, the judge may waive all or any part of the 
            state penalty, the payment of which would work a hardship on 
            the person convicted or his or her immediate family.  ›Penal 
            Code Section 1464(d).]

          6)States that the moneys so deposited in the State Penalty Fund 
            shall be distributed as follows ›Penal Code Section 1464(f)]:

             a)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the Fish 
               and Game Preservation Fund an amount equal to 0.33% of the 
               state penalty funds deposited in the State Penalty Fund 
               during the preceding month, except that the total amount 
               shall not be less than the state penalty levied on fines or 








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               forfeitures for violation of state laws relating to the 
               protection or propagation of fish and game.  These moneys 
               shall be used for the education or training of department 
               employees which fulfills a need consistent with the 
               objectives of the Department of Fish and Game.

             b)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Restitution Fund an amount equal to 32.02% of the state 
               penalty funds deposited in the State Penalty Fund during 
               the preceding month. 

             c)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Peace Officers' Training Fund an amount equal to 23.99% of 
               the state penalty funds deposited in the State Penalty Fund 
               during the preceding month.

             d)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Driver Training Penalty Assessment Fund an amount equal to 
               25.7% of the state penalty funds deposited in the State 
               Penalty Fund during the preceding month.

             e)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Corrections Training Fund an amount equal to 7.88% of the 
               state penalty funds deposited in the State Penalty Fund 
               during the preceding month.  Money in the Corrections 
               Training Fund is not continuously appropriated and shall be 
               appropriated in the Budget Act.

             f)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Local Public Prosecutors and Public Defenders Training Fund 
               established pursuant to Section 11503 an amount equal to 
               0.78% of the state penalty funds deposited in the State 
               Penalty Fund during the preceding month.  The amount so 
               transferred shall not exceed the sum of $850,000 in any 
               fiscal year.  The remainder in excess of $850,000 shall be 
               transferred to the Restitution Fund.

             g)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Victim-Witness Assistance Fund an amount equal to 8.64% of 
               the state penalty funds deposited in the State Penalty Fund 
               during the preceding month.

             h)   Once per month, there shall be transferred into the 
               Traumatic Brain Injury Fund an amount equal to 0.66% of the 
               state penalty funds deposited in the State Penalty Fund 








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               during the preceding month.  

          6)Provides for an additional county penalty assessment of $7 for 
            every $10, or fraction thereof, upon every fine, penalty, or 
            forfeiture imposed and collected by the courts for criminal 
            offenses, including all offenses involving a violation of the 
            Vehicle Code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the 
            Vehicle Code, except for parking offenses.  The money 
            collected shall be placed in any of the following funds if 
            established by a county board of supervisors:  Courthouse 
            Construction Fund, Criminal Justice Facilities Construction 
            Fund, Automated Fingerprint Identification Fund, Emergency 
            Medical Services (EMS) Fund; and/or DNA Identification Fund.  
            (Government Code Section 76000 et seq.)

          7)Requires a state surcharge of 20% upon every fine, penalty, or 
            forfeiture imposed and collected by the courts for all 
            criminal offenses, including all offenses, except specified 
            parking offenses, involving a violation of a section of the 
            Vehicle Code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the 
            Vehicle Code.   (Penal Code Section 1465.7.)

          8)Requires the assessment of $5 for every $10 or fraction 
            thereof, upon every fine, penalty or forfeiture collected by 
            the courts for criminal offenses, including all offenses, 
            except specified parking offenses, involving a violation of a 
            section of the Vehicle Code or any local ordinance adopted 
            pursuant to the Vehicle Code.  Additionally, an assessment of 
            $4.50 shall be assessed upon every fine, penalty or forfeiture 
            collected by the courts for criminal offenses, including all 
            offenses, except specified parking offenses, involving a 
            violation of a section of the Vehicle Code or any local 
            ordinance adopted pursuant to the Vehicle Code.   These funds 
            are to be used for court construction.  (Government Code 
            Section 70372.)

          9)Requires a fee of $40 on every conviction for a criminal 
            offense, including all offenses, except specified parking 
            offenses, involving a violation of a section of the Vehicle 
            Code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the Vehicle 
            Code, to ensure adequate funding for court security.  (Penal 
            Code Section 1465.8.)

          10)Requires a fee of $49 be assessed in addition to any other 
            fines or assessments for any individual attending traffic 








                                                                  AB 1657
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            violator school as a result a violations of specified sections 
            of the vehicle code.  ›Vehicle Code Section 42007.1(a).]

          11)Allows the superior court in each county to establish a fee 
            up to $10 for clerical and administrative costs incurred for 
            recording and retaining records of the defendant's violations 
            of the vehicle code, or violations resulting in the 
            restriction of defendant's driver's license or automobile 
            registration, as specified.  (Vehicle Code Section 40508.6.)

          12)Requires the assessment of $4 upon every fine, penalty or 
            forfeiture collected by the courts for criminal offenses, 
            including all offenses, except specified parking offenses, 
            involving a violation of a section of the Vehicle Code or any 
            local ordinance adopted pursuant to the Vehicle Code.  These 
            funds are to be used to augment emergency medical air 
            transportation reimbursement payments, as specified.  
            (Government Code Section 76000.10.)

          13)Requires the assessment of $1 for every $10 or fraction 
            thereof, upon every fine, penalty or forfeiture collected by 
            the courts for criminal offenses, including all offenses, 
            except specified parking offenses, involving a violation of a 
            section of the Vehicle Code or any local ordinance adopted 
            pursuant to the Vehicle Code.  These funds are to be used for 
            the purpose of implementing the DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved 
            Crime and Innocence Protection Act, as created by Proposition 
            69 (1994). (Government Code Section 76104.6.)

          14)Allows the board of supervisors of counties to assess a fine 
            of $2 for every $10 or fraction thereof, upon every fine, 
            penalty or forfeiture collected by the courts for criminal 
            offenses, including all offenses, except specified parking 
            offenses, involving a violation of a section of the Vehicle 
            Code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the Vehicle 
            Code.  (Government Code Section 76000.5.)

          15)Requires Judicial Council to establish a task force to 
            evaluate criminal and traffic-related, court-ordered debts 
            imposed against adult and juvenile offenders.  This task force 
            must identify all court-ordered fees, fines, forfeitures, 
            penalties, and assessments imposed under the law, and identify 
            the distribution of these fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties, 
            and assessments.  The task force shall consult with state and 
            local entities to evaluate and make recommendations to the 








                                                                  AB 1657
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            Judicial Council and the Legislature.  These recommendations 
            must be made by June 30, 2011.  (Penal Code Section 1463.02.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, " Motor vehicle 
            accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries and by 
            restoring funding to the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury 
            Research fund, administered by the Reeve-Irvine Research 
            Center at the University of California, Irvine, California can 
            move closer to a cure for the roughly 650,000 people in our 
            state living with paralysis. 

          "A small investment of state penalty funds, augmented by federal 
            research dollars, will build on the advances already 
            experienced by the Roman Reed SCI Research fund.  Not only 
            will these funds, enhance the academic reputation of our 
            research institutions, they will also aid our biotech industry 
            and, most importantly, give hope to all Californians with 
            paralysis that a cure will come."   

           2)Background  :  According to background provided by the author, 
            "There are approximately 650,000 Californians living with 
            paralysis. The disability, loss of earning power, and loss of 
            personal freedom resulting from spinal cord injury is 
            devastating for the injured individual, and creates a huge 
            financial burden for the state of California. The associated 
            rise in health care costs and lost income potential for those 
            with paralysis is well over $1 billion.  To improve the 
            quality of life of paralyzed individuals, the Roman Reed 
            Spinal Cord Injury Research Act was created in 2000 and 
            renewed in 2005.  It takes advantage of California's 
            outstanding medical research institutions to fund promising 
            research-driven therapies that have the potential to enhance 
            the functionality of people with paralysis.

          "The program is administered by the Reeve-Irvine Research Center 
            at the University of California, Irvine.  Over its history, 
            the Roman Reed SCI Research program fund provided $15.1 
            million, which funded 129 research grants that involved 300 
            California scientists, technical staff and students.  This 
            seed funding has enabled the scientists to launch new research 
            projects that attract federal research funding.  To date, the 








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            funding has leveraged an additional $63.8 million from federal 
            and other sources.

          "However, state funding has dried up.  AB 1657, recognizes that 
            motor vehicle crashes account for nearly 46 percent of SCI 
            cases, and would restore funding by directing $1.5 million 
            annually in state penalty funds to the Roman Reed Spinal Cord 
            Injury Research Fund.  By investing this small amount of 
            funds, California can ensure the continued success of this 
            impressive program and remain a world leader in neural 
            sciences.

          "Advances made through this program could lead to new therapies 
            that improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of 
            Californians who suffer from spinal cord injury, and also save 
            the state millions of dollars that would otherwise be required 
            for long-term care."

           3)Fines  :  With state and local budget constraints in recent 
            years, penalty assessments have become a way for California 
            and its counties to raise needed funds.  Currently, penalty 
            assessments are 270% of the base fine, with a flat $103 added 
            to each fine.  

          Calculation of penalty assessments on a base fine of $500:

          Base Fine:                              $  500
           
           Penal Code 1464 Assessment:                  $  500($10 for 
            every $10 in fines)
          Penal Code 1465.7 Assessment:                    100(20% 
            surcharge)
          Penal Code 1465.8 Assessment:                      40($40 fee 
            per fine)
          Government Code 70372 Assessment:                250($5 for 
            every $10 in fines)
          Government Code 76000 Assessment:                350($7 for 
            every $10 in fines)
            Government Code 76000.10 Assessment:            4($4 fee per 
            fine)
            Government Code 76000.5 Assessment:              100 ($2 for 
            every $10 in fines)
            Government Code 76104.6 Assessment:                50($1 for 
            every $10 in fines)
            Vehicle Code 42007.1(a) Assessment:                49($49 fee 








                                                                  AB 1657
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            per fine)
            Vehicle Code 40508.6 Assessment:                   10($10 fee 
            per fine)

            Total Fine with Assessment:        $1,953

           4)Judicial Council Evaluating Penalty Assessments  :  The Judicial 
            Council was granted authorization to convene a task force to 
            identify and evaluate all fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties, 
            and assessments currently in place.  The funding for this task 
            force was authorized in a budget trailer bill, SB 857 
            (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), Statutes of 2010, 
            Chapter 720.  This task force is currently in process.   
           
           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          7 private individuals

           Opposition 
           
          California Catholic Conference, Inc. 
          California Public Defenders Association 
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Milena Blake / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744