BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 534|
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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS


          Bill No:  SB 534
          Author:   Corbett (D)
          Amended:  8/26/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  6-0, 3/29/11
          AYES: Hancock, Anderson, Harman, Liu, Price, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Calderon

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 5/26/11
          AYES:  Kehoe, Walters, Alquist, Emmerson, Lieu, Pavley, 
            Price, Runner, Steinberg

           SENATE FLOOR  :  39-0, 6/2/11
          AYES:  Alquist, Anderson, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Calderon, 
            Cannella, Corbett, Correa, De León, DeSaulnier, Dutton, 
            Emmerson, Evans, Fuller, Gaines, Hancock, Harman, 
            Hernandez, Huff, Kehoe, La Malfa, Leno, Lieu, Liu, 
            Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Rubio, 
            Simitian, Steinberg, Strickland, Vargas, Walters, Wolk, 
            Wright, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Runner 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  78-0, 8/31/11 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT :    Sexual assault victims:  forensic medical exams

           SOURCE  :     Alameda County District Attorney


           DIGEST  :    This bill makes changes to sexual assault 
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          forensic protocol to conform California to federal 
          requirements for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding. 
           Specifically, this bill (1) specifies that any sexual 
          assault victim who seeks a forensic medical exam is not 
          required to engage with law enforcement in order to receive 
          the exam; (2) authorizes a local law enforcement agency to 
          seek reimbursement for the cost of a forensic medical exam 
          involving a victim who has declined to participate in the 
          criminal justice system by applying to the California 
          Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) for federal 
          discretionary VAWA funding from the Services, Training, 
          Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against Women 
          Formula Grant Program.  The authorization to use the VAWA 
          STOP funds for medical forensic examinations sunsets 
          January 1, 2014; and (3) encourages CalEMA to partner with 
          specified professional organizations when developing the 
          required training course for health professionals relating 
          to examination and treatment of sexual assault victims.

           Assembly Amendments  (1) provide that victims of sexual 
          assault who request a medical evidentiary examination shall 
          be provided one; (2) establishes a statewide fee for the 
          above examination; (3) delete provisions that 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 
          exam.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing federal law includes the VAWA, which 
          establishes an office within the Department of Justice to 
          administer the Act, including the STOP grant program.  (42 
          USCA Section 3796.)  The Office has authority over all 
          grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts pursuant to 
          VAWA, and develops policy, protocols, and guidelines for 
          programs receiving grants under the Act.  (42 USCA Section 
          3796gg0b.)  

          Existing federal law bars a state from receiving a VAWA 
          grant unless state law provides as follows:

           A sexual assault victim shall not be charged for forensic 
            and medical examinations, as specified.

           A victim shall not be required to seek reimbursement from 

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            his/her insurance carrier.

           The requirement can be met if the state provides for 
            victim reimbursement for medical costs, as specified, 
            state law can place no limit on the amount of 
            reimbursement and the state must provide reimbursement 
            within 90 days of receipt of notice of the expense.

           A sexual assault victim shall not be required to 
            participate in the criminal justice system in order to 
            receive a forensic medical exam or to receive 
            reimbursement for the exam.  (42 USCA Section 3796gg-4.)

          Existing California law generally provides for standards 
          and protocols for the examination and treatment of victims 
          of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault, including 
          child molestation, and the collection and preservation of 
          evidence therefrom.  (Penal Code Section 13823.5.)

          Existing California law provides that the protocol for the 
          examination and treatment of victims of sexual assault or 
          attempted sexual assault, including child molestation, and 
          the collection and preservation of evidence therefrom shall 
          include provisions for all of the following:

           Notification of injuries and a report of suspected child 
            sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities.

           Obtaining consent for the examination, for the treatment 
            of injuries, for the collection of evidence, and for the 
            photographing of injuries.

           Taking a patient history of sexual assault and other 
            relevant medical history.

           Performance of the physical examination for evidence of 
            sexual assault.

           Collection of physical evidence of assault. 

           Collection of other medical specimens.

           Procedures for the preservation and disposition of 
            physical evidence. (Penal Code Section 13823.7.)  

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          Existing California law provides that no costs incurred by 
          a qualified health care professional, hospital, or other 
          emergency medical facility for the examination of the 
          victim of a sexual assault, as specified, when the 
          examination is performed for the purposes of gathering 
          evidence for possible prosecution, shall be charged 
          directly or indirectly to the victim of the assault.  Those 
          costs shall be treated as local costs and charged to the 
          local governmental agency in whose jurisdiction the alleged 
          offense was committed.  (Penal Code Section 13823.95.)  
          Existing law provides that bills for these costs shall be 
          submitted to the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction 
          in which the alleged offense was committed which requests 
          the examination, and that the law enforcement agency in the 
          jurisdiction in which the alleged offense was committed 
          which requests the examination has the option of 
          determining whether or not the examination will be 
          performed in the office of a physician and surgeon. 

          This bill provides that victims of sexual assault are not 
          required to participate in the criminal justice system in 
          order to be provided with a forensic medical examination.  
          Specifically, this bill:

          1.Adds a provision to protocol relating to the medical 
            treatment of victims of sexual assault to provide for the 
            collection of other medical specimens.

          2.States that no costs incurred by a qualified health care 
            professional, hospital, or other emergency medical 
            facility for the medical evidentiary examination portion 
            of the examination of the victim of a sexual assault 
            shall be charged directly or indirectly to a victim of 
            assault.  

          3.States that the cost of a medical evidentiary examination 
            for a victim of a sexual assault shall be treated as a 
            local cost and charged to the local law enforcement 
            agency in whose jurisdiction the alleged offense was 
            committed, provided however, that the local law 
            enforcement agency may seek reimbursement for the cost of 
            conducting the medical evidentiary examination portion of 
            a medical examination of a sexual assault victim who does 

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            not participate in the criminal justice system.

          4.States that the amount that may be charged by a qualified 
            health care professional, hospital, or other emergency 
            medical facility to perform the medical evidentiary 
            examination portion of a medical examination of a victim 
            of a sexual assault shall not exceed $300.

          5.States that California Emergency Management Agency 
            (CalEMA) shall use the discretionary funds from federal 
            grants awarded to the agency pursuant to the STOP 
            (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence 
            Against Women Formula Grant Program to cover the cost of 
            the medical evidentiary examination of a sexual assault 
            victim.

          6.Authorizes CalEMA to use grant funds to pay for medical 
            evidentiary examinations until January 1, 2014.

          7.Mandates CalEMA to develop a course of training for 
            qualified health care professionals relating to the 
            examination and treatment of victims of sexual assault, 
            and consult with health care professionals and 
            appropriate law enforcement agencies and obtain 
            recommendations on the best means to disseminate the 
            course of training on a statewide basis.

          8.Encourages CalEMA to designate that a course of training 
            for qualified health care professionals, as defined, and 
            states that CalEMA shall partner with other allied 
            professional training courses, such as sexual assault 
            investigator training administered by the Commission on 
            Peace Officer Standards and Training, or sexual assault 
            prosecutor training as administered by California 
            District Attorneys Association or sexual assault advocate 
            training as administered by California Coalition Against 
            Sexual Assault. 

          9.Defines "qualified health care professional" as a 
            physician, a surgeon, a nurse who works in consultation 
            with a physician or surgeon or who conducts examinations 
            in a general acute care hospital or in the office of a 
            physician or surgeon, a nurse practitioner, or a 
            physician's assistant, as defined by law.

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           Prior Legislation
           
          SB 50 (Corbett, 2009) passed the Senate Floor with a 39-0 
          vote on June 3, 2010.  SB 50 died in the Assembly.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/31/11)

          Alameda County District Attorney (source)
          Alameda County Board of Supervisors
          California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
          California National Organization for Women
          California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
          National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles
          Police Officers Research Association of California


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author's office states in many 
          parts of California, the only way a victim can receive a 
          forensic exam without having to pay for it is when a law 
          enforcement agency requests and authorizes the forensic 
          exam.  In cases where a victim chooses not to cooperate 
          with law enforcement and the law enforcement agency does 
          not authorize the exam, the victim may not receive such an 
          exam.  Furthermore, the jurisdiction is out of compliance 
          with VAWA regulations, thereby jeopardizing the state's 
          compliance with VAWA and eligibility for STOP funding.

          California currently receives approximately $13 million 
          annually from the federal government for VAWA.  If a state 
          is found to be out of compliance with VAWA requirements, 
          they may be at risk of losing these federal dollars.

          Each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate 
          partner-related physical assaults and rapes.  According to 
          the Department of Justice, the number of reported forcible 
          rapes increased 2.5 percent during the first six months of 
          2008 when compared to the same period in 2007 (from 2,748 
          to 2,818).


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          Further, the author's office and sponsors, the Alameda 
          County District Attorney and the California Coalition 
          Against Sexual Assault state that this bill is necessary to 
          comply with VAWA requirements that sexual assault victims 
          not be denied medical forensic exams if they do not 
          cooperate with law enforcement.


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  78-0, 8/31/11
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, 
            Bill Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, 
            Carter, Cedillo, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, 
            Donnelly, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, 
            Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, 
            Hagman, Halderman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Roger 
            Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, 
            Knight, Lara, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mansoor, 
            Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell, Nestande, 
            Nielsen, Olsen, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Portantino, 
            Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Valadao, 
            Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Gorell, Norby


          RJG:do  8/31/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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