BILL ANALYSIS Ó Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Kevin de León, Chair AB 849 (Garcia) - Protection of victims: address confidentiality. Amended: May 24, 2013 Policy Vote: Judiciary 7-0 Urgency: No Mandate: No Hearing Date: August 12, 2013 Consultant: Jolie Onodera This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. Bill Summary: AB 849 would allow an application to the Secretary of State's (SOS) Safe at Home (SAH) program to be completed at a community-based assistance program that serves victims of elder or dependent adult abuse. This bill would also require the SOS to conduct outreach activities to identify and recruit agencies to assist victims, as specified, in applying to the SAH program. Fiscal Impact: Potential first-year costs to the SOS of approximately $75,000 (General Fund) and $65,000 annually thereafter to facilitate recruitment activities and address the additional SAH program caseload. Background: Under existing law, the Safe at Home program is administered by the SOS and provides victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or reproductive healthcare workers with a substitute mailing address in order to protect the confidentiality of the participant's home, work, or school address. Existing law provides that upon proper application and certification, applicants will be certified in the program for four years, unless certification is withdrawn or invalidated. Under current law, an applicant to the address confidentiality program based on domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking must complete an application in person at a community-based victims' assistance program. Applicants are required to meet with a victims' assistance counselor and receive orientation information about the program. Existing law additionally requires the application to include a sworn statement that the applicant has good reason to believe that he or she is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and fears for AB 849 (Garcia) Page 1 his or her safety. Current law requires the SOS to designate state, local, and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to assist victims in applying to the SAH program. This bill seeks to ensure that eligible victims of elder or dependent adult abuse are able to apply for the protections of the SAH program. Proposed Law: This bill would authorize an applicant for the SAH program to complete his or her application at a community-based assistance program that serves victims of elder or dependent adult abuse pursuant to the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. In addition, this bill: Requires the SOS to designate state and local agencies and nonprofit agencies that serve victims of elder or dependent adult abuse to assist victims applying to be program participants. Requires the SOS to conduct outreach activities to identify and recruit the agencies. Prior Legislation: AB 2483 (Blumenfield) Chapter 102/2012 removed the requirement that victims alleging stalking as the basis of their SAH eligibility to provide specific evidence attached to the application. SB 1082 (Corbett) Chapter 270/2012 made a number of changes to the SAH program, including requiring applicants and participants of the program to be domiciled in California, and authorizing minor participants to renew their participation upon reaching 18 years of age. AB 906 (Galgiani) 2012 would have authorized witnesses who have testified in murder trials to participate in the SAH program. This bill was held on the Suspense File of this committee. Staff Comments: The SOS has indicated the provisions of this bill will incur General Fund costs of about $75,000 in the initial year of implementation and $65,000 annually thereafter for one position to facilitate the recruitment of volunteer elder service enrolling agencies and the increased SAH program caseload that could potentially result under the provisions of AB 849 (Garcia) Page 2 this measure.