BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                          SB 534 (Corbett)
          
          Hearing Date: 5/2/2011          Amended: 4/25/2011
          Consultant: Jolie Onodera       Policy Vote: Public Safety 6-0
          
















































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          BILL SUMMARY: SB 534 would provide that victims of sexual 
          assault are not required to participate in the criminal justice 
          system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to be provided 
          with a forensic medical examination.
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                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2011-12      2012-13       2013-14     Fund
           
          Additional forensic    Potentially major state-reimbursable 
          costs;                 General
          medical exams          $120 - $900 per one percent of reported 
          victims

          Additional sexual      Minor costs annually to DOJ          
          Special*
          assault kits

          *DNA Identification Fund                                    
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          ____

          STAFF COMMENTS: This bill meets the criteria for referral to the 
          Suspense File. 

          The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) appropriates 
          grants, including the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors 
          (STOP) Formula Grant Program, to fund a variety of victim 
          services including sexual assault and domestic violence 
          programs. California receives approximately $13 million annually 
          through the VAWA for various qualifying programs. The California 
          Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) is the designated agency 
          that administers the VAWA STOP Program and allocates the funds 
          consistent with STOP Program requirements to support victim 
          services agencies, law enforcement, prosecution, and the courts. 
          Cal EMA indicated that STOP Program funds are used for rape 
          crisis center services, as well as for law enforcement and 
          medical personnel training regarding forensic medical exams, but 
          are not used to fund payment for the actual exams.

          To be eligible to receive VAWA funds, states must certify that 
          they are in compliance with the statutory eligibility 
          requirements of the STOP Program. The 2005 reauthorization of 








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          the VAWA statute required that the state or another governmental 
          entity incur the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic medical 
          exams for victims of sexual assault. Further, effective January 
          5, 2009, a state is not entitled to funds under the STOP Program 
          unless victims of sexual assault are not required to participate 
          in the criminal justice system or cooperate with local law 
          enforcement in order to be provided with a forensic medical exam 
          at no cost to the victim (42 U.S.C. 3796gg-4). This bill would 
          mandate that forensic medical exams be afforded to all victims 
          of sexual assault regardless of their decision to participate in 
          the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement.

          Under existing law, forensic medical exams that are requested by 
          law enforcement are charged to the local law enforcement agency 
          in the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense was committed. 
          Under current law, victims may only receive a forensic medical 
          exam free of charge when a law enforcement agency requests and 
          authorizes an exam. Under circumstances where a victim chooses 
          not to cooperate with law enforcement and the agency does not 
          authorize an exam, the victim may not receive such an exam. As a 
          result, the jurisdiction is out of compliance with VAWA 
          regulations, thereby jeopardizing the state's compliance with 
          VAWA and eligibility for STOP Program funding.

          This bill will likely result in an increased number of forensic 
          medical examinations that may not have otherwise been provided 
          to victims of sexual assault who choose not to cooperate with 
          law enforcement or participate in the criminal justice system. 
          As the VAWA is not a mandated federal program but requires 
          compliance for grant eligibility, any additional exams not 
          requested by law enforcement will result in mandated 
          reimbursable local costs.

          The cost of forensic medical exams varies by jurisdiction and 
          ranges from $400 - $3,000 per exam. It is unknown how many 
          additional victims of sexual assault will be afforded a forensic 
          medical exam under the provisions of this bill, as the total 
          number of sexual assault victims is unknown and vastly 
          underreported. In Fiscal Year 2009-10, there were approximately 
          30,000 reported victims of sexual assault in California. For 
          every additional one percent of victims requesting an exam who 
          otherwise would not have done so, the cost for 300 exams would 
          range between $120,000 and $900,000 per year.

          Additionally, to the extent additional forensic exams allow for 








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          the collection of timely evidence for future use when victims 
          may decide to come forward and cooperate with law enforcement, 
          these additional medical exams could lead to prosecution and 
          incarceration costs of an indeterminable amount.