BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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          AB 2264 (Levine)
          As Amended  August 4, 2014
          2/3rd vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |     |(May 23, 2014)  |SENATE: |36-0 |(August 13,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2014)          |
               (vote not relevant)

          Original Committee Reference:    HEALTH  

           SUMMARY  :  Extends eligibility for reimbursement under the Victim  
          Compensation Program to cover costs associated with the injury  
          or death of a guide, signal, or service dog as a result of a  
          crime, as specified.

           The Senate amendments  delete the Assembly version of this bill,  
          and instead:

          1)Allow a person to apply for compensation, of up to $10,000, to  
            the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board  
            (VCGCB) when:

             a)   A person causes injury or death of any guide, signal, or  
               service dog through the failure or reckless disregard to  
               exercise control over his or her dog or through his or her  
               intentional actions; and,

             b)   The defendant is unable to pay restitution for specified  
               costs associated with the injury or death of the guide,  
               signal, or service dog.

          2)Extend eligibility criteria for reimbursement from the board  
            to include the expense of veterinary services, replacement  
            costs, or other reasonable expenses, as ordered by the court,  
            incurred when the injury or death of a guide, signal, or  
            service dog either permitted or intentionally caused by a  
            person and the defendant is unable to make restitution to the  

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Provides that all crime victims have the right to seek and  


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            secure restitution from the perpetrators of these crimes.   
            Requires restitution to be ordered in every case without  
            exception.  Requires, when a defendant has been ordered to pay  
            restitution, all money or property collected from the  
            defendant to be first applied to satisfy restitution orders.

          2)Requires the court to order a defendant to make restitution to  
            the victim or victims of the defendant's crime, based on the  
            amount of loss claimed by the victim or victims or any other  
            showing to the court.  Requires the court to order full  
            restitution for the losses caused by the defendant's crime  
            unless the court finds and states compelling and extraordinary  
            reasons for not doing so.

          3)Punishes any person to permit any dog owned, harbored, or  
            controlled by him or her to cause injury to, or the death of,  
            any guide, signal, or service dog, as defined, as follows:

             a)   As an infraction by a fine not exceeding $250 if the  
               injury or death to the dog was caused by the person's  
               failure to exercise ordinary care in the control of his or  
               her dog;

             b)   As a misdemeanor by imprisonment of up to one year, a  
               fine of between $2,500 and $5,000, or both imprisonment and  
               the fine if the injury or death of the dog was caused by  
               the person's reckless disregard in the exercise of control  
               over his or her dog under circumstances that constitute  
               such a departure from the conduct of a reasonable person as  
               to be incompatible with a proper regard for the safety and  
               life of any guide, signal, or service dog.

          4)Authorizes a court to order a person convicted of causing  
            injury or death to any guide, signal, or service dog to make  
            restitution to the person who had ownership or custody of the  
            dog and for any veterinary bills and replacement costs or  
            other reasonable costs deemed appropriate by the court.

          5)States that any person who intentionally causes injury to, or  
            the death of, any guide, signal or service dog, while the dog  
            is in the discharge of its duties is guilty of a misdemeanor  
            and punishable by imprisonment in the county jail up to one  
            year, a fine not exceeding $10,000, or both.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill required the State  


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          Department of Public Health (DPH) to negotiate with any  
          federally recognized tribe for a delegated program under which  
          the tribe will assume responsibility for carrying out DPH's  
          duties related to the licensing and regulation of primary care  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  

          1)Potential minor increase in claims reimbursement likely less  
            than $50,000 (Special Fund) annually paid to victims to cover  
            costs for veterinary services, replacement costs, and other  
            reasonable expenses as ordered by the court.  Assuming  
            reimbursement for two victims at the maximum reimbursement  
            amount of $10,000 would result in additional costs of $20,000.  
            Arrest and conviction data from the Department of Justice for  
            the past three years indicate only one or two arrests (and no  
            convictions) per year for the specified crimes potentially  
            eligible for compensation.

          2)Minor ongoing costs (Special Fund) to the VCGCB to process  
            additional claims for compensation.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "Guide, service, and signal  
          dogs are highly trained animals that make a healthy, fulfilling  
          and independent life possible for people with a variety of  
          physical challenges.  Current law states that it is a criminal  
          offence to cause injury, whether intentional or unintentional,  
          to a guide, signal or service dog.  A defendant that is  
          convicted in these attacks is required to provide restitution  
          for the harm caused to the dog. 

          "However, if the defendant is unable to provide immediate  
          compensation, the victim is left unable to obtain funds to care  
          for the injuries sustained to their dog.  This bill would make  
          the victim eligible to apply for compensation under the Victim's  
          Compensation Fund as the dog is an extension of the person and a  
          vital component to their independence."

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Shaun Naidu / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744  
          FN: 0004585 


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