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  








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          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.








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          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  








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          within Penal Code §13823.95(d) to the "Violence Against Women  
          Reauthorization Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-4).