BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2393
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 2393 (Levine)
          As Amended  July 3, 2014
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |42-31|(May 27, 2014)  |SENATE: |21-13|(August 7,     |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2014)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:   TRANS.  

           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes an increase in the vehicle registration fee  
          used to fund fingerprint identification programs.  Specifically,  
           this bill  :

          1)Authorizes, for counties that have imposed a vehicle  
            registration fee for fingerprint identification programs, the  
            fee to be increased from $1 to $2 (and from $2 to $4 for  
            commercial vehicles).  

          2)For counties that have not imposed a $1 vehicle registration  
            fee for fingerprint identification programs, authorizes  
            imposition of a $2 fee (and a $4 fee for commercial vehicles).  
             

           The Senate amendments  are technical, clarifying that commercial  
          vehicle surcharges would increase to $4 when a county raises the  
          vehicle surcharge from $1 to $2 and that the surcharge would be  
          $2 for counties that are imposing the surcharge for the first  
          time.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee,:

          1)One-time Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) programming costs  
            of approximately $40,000 for each county that elects to  
            increase the fee.  If a county has never imposed the fee,  
            DMV's programming costs would be $100,000.  All DMV costs are  
            recoverable from fee revenues.

          2)Unknown local fee revenues, potentially in the millions  
            annually.  Actual local revenue gains would depend upon the  
            number of counties exercising the authority to impose the  
            higher fee, and the number of registered vehicles subject to  








                                                                  AB 2393
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            the fee.  Currently 45 counties impose the fee, which  
            generated $29.8 million in net local revenues in 2012-13. 

           COMMENTS  :  The Department of Justice (DOJ) started the  
          fingerprint identification program, known as Cal-ID, in the late  
          1980s to provide a way to verify the identity of persons placed  
          under arrest and to assist law enforcement agencies in other  
          ways, such as identifying human remains and identifying possible  
          criminal suspects, using fingerprint evidence gathered at crime  
          scenes.   
           
          Limited funding for the technology and equipment hampered  
          implementation of Cal-ID.  As a result, the Legislature passed  
          SB 720 (Lockyer), Chapter 587, Statutes of 1997, authorizing  
          counties to impose a $1 surcharge on vehicle registrations in  
          the county and to use the money for the Cal-ID program.  SB 720  
          limited the duration of the program to five years.  Subsequent  
          legislation extended authorization for the program twice:  AB  
          879 (Keeley), Chapter 986, Statutes of 2002, extended the  
          program until 2006 and added reporting requirements, and AB 857  
          (Bass), Chapter 470, Statutes of 2005, extended the program  
          until January 2012.  Finally, AB 674 (Bonilla), Chapter 205,  
          Statutes of 2011, repealed the sunset date entirely.  

          According to the sponsors, the Cal-ID program has been a  
          statewide success.  They contend it has saved DOJ countless  
          hours of manually scanning inked fingerprint cards.  Further,  
          local law enforcement officials assert that since the original  
          legislation, advances in biometric science and technology have  
          developed to the point that law enforcement can now send and  
          receive from the field identification needed to authenticate  
          individuals using not only fingerprints but also retinal scans,  
          facial scans, palm-prints, and thumbprints.  These advancements  
          offer significant benefits to law enforcement, such as the  
          ability to:  

          1)Authenticate individuals remotely and avoid unnecessary  
            transfers to a booking facility;

          2)Rapidly identify dangerous individuals; 

          3)Confirm instances of mistaken identities; and, 

          4)View a driver's license photograph from the field.  









                                                                  AB 2393
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          Although the program has been extended indefinitely, the author  
          points out that the $1 vehicle registration fee has not changed  
          since the inception of the program 17 years ago.  This bill is  
          intended to restore some of the lost purchasing power of the  
          original $1 fee as well as to allow law enforcement to take  
          advantage of advances in technology.  

          Writing in opposition to this bill, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers  
          Association argues that the fee increase proposed in this bill  
          runs afoul of constitutional provisions governing the imposition  
          of special taxes, namely that imposition of such a tax requires  
          a two-thirds vote of the electorate.  

          To this point, this bill is a majority vote measure in the  
          Legislature because it does not directly result in a taxpayer  
          paying a higher tax.  Instead, this bill delegates to county  
          boards of supervisors the authority to impose a vehicle  
          registrations fee.  Ultimately, county counsels will have to  
          determine the appropriate vote threshold at the county level,  
          where a two-thirds vote of the electorate may be required.  

          Previous legislation:  SB 720, originally authorized the  
          imposition of a $1 fee for the automated fingerprinting systems,  
          until January 2003.  

          AB 879, extended the program until 2006 (and added reporting  
          requirements).  

          AB 857, extended the program until January 2012.  

          AB 674, extended the program indefinitely.  

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Janet Dawson / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093 


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