BILL ANALYSIS Ó Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Kevin de León, Chair SB 107 (Corbett) - Sexual assault: victim medical evidentiary examination. Amended: April 1, 2013 Policy Vote: Public Safety 7-0 Urgency: No Mandate: No Hearing Date: April 22, 2013 Consultant: Jolie Onodera This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. Bill Summary: SB 107 would repeal the January 1, 2014, sunset date authorizing the use of federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant funding to cover the costs of the medical evidentiary examination portion of medical examinations of sexual assault victims. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing VAWA grant expenditures of less than $150,000 (Federal) per year in reimbursements for forensic medical examinations. The Office of Emergency Services (OES) reimbursed 24 claims totaling less than $10,000 in 2012. Potential cost savings (General Fund) to the extent the sunset would have resulted in state costs to reimburse local law enforcement agencies in the absence of available federal funds. Background: The federal 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 $12 million annually through the VAWA for various qualifying programs. The OES (formerly the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA)) 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. VAWA was first enacted in 1994 and was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, with the most recent authorization expiring in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011. On March 7, 2013, the President signed the VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-4) which SB 107 (Corbett) Page 1 reauthorizes various programs, including the STOP formula grant program, through FFY 2018. To be eligible to receive VAWA funds, the state or another governmental entity must incur the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic medical examinations 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 examination at no cost to the victim (42 U.S.C. §3796gg-4). SB 534 (Corbett) Chapter 360/2011 enacted changes to sexual assault forensic protocol to conform state law to federal requirements for VAWA funding and specified that any sexual assault victim seeking a forensic medical examination is not required to engage with law enforcement in order to receive the examination, and no costs are to be charged directly or indirectly to the victim. Existing state law provides that the cost of a forensic medical examination for a victim of sexual assault is to be charged to the local law enforcement agency, provided, however, that that the local law enforcement agency may seek reimbursement for the cost of conducting the forensic medical examination of a victim who does not participate in the criminal justice system. Current law requires the OES to use discretionary funds from the VAWA STOP program to cover the cost of the forensic medical examination of a sexual assault victim. The authorization to use VAWA grant funds to pay for the examinations sunsets on January 1, 2014. Proposed Law: This bill eliminates the January 1, 2014, sunset date authorizing the use of federal VAWA grant funding to cover the costs of the medical evidentiary examination portion of medical examinations of sexual assault victims. Staff Comments: This bill would authorize the OES to continue to use discretionary federal VAWA STOP program funds to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for the cost of forensic medical examinations for victims of sexual assault who choose not to participate in the criminal justice system. SB 107 (Corbett) Page 2 The FFY 2012 VAWA STOP award was $12.5 million, of which $1.7 million was available for discretionary programs. Due to the impact of federal sequestration, a five percent reduction from the FFY 2012 award is anticipated for FFY 2013, which would equate to a total award of $11.9 million, with $1.6 million available for discretionary programs. Current law provides that the maximum cost that may be charged by a physician, hospital, or other emergency medical facility for a forensic medical examination is $300. The OES has indicated a total of 24 reimbursement requests for sexual assault forensic medical examinations were received in 2012, resulting in claim payments of less than $10,000 from discretionary VAWA STOP funds. The OES projects approximately $25,000 in claims to be paid from the FFY 2013 VAWA grant. Because there is no fiscal year restriction or timeframe within which a claim may be submitted for reimbursement, it is unknown to what degree the number and value of claims for reimbursement, including retroactive reimbursement for years past, may increase in future years. Given the total number of sexual assault victims is unknown and vastly underreported, future claim reimbursements could be much greater than have been paid to date. In FY 2009-10, there were approximately 30,000 reported victims of sexual assault in California. Should claims be submitted for one percent of victims, reimbursement for 300 exams would cost $90,000. In the absence of this legislation, the OES would no longer have the authority to utilize discretionary VAWA funds to reimburse local law enforcement agencies. It is unclear if OES would be responsible to identify an alternative funding source to reimburse local law enforcement agencies or if law enforcement would be unable to continue to seek reimbursement in the absence of the sunset extension. To the extent the sunset would have the effect of no longer providing for local law enforcement reimbursement, the increased level of service may be determined to be a reimbursable state mandate, resulting in increased General Fund costs. Recommended Amendments: To ensure the OES is authorized to use future VAWA funds to be awarded under recently enacted federal legislation, staff recommends an amendment to add a reference SB 107 (Corbett) Page 3 within Penal Code §13823.95(d) to the "Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-4).