BILL ANALYSIS Ó Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Kevin de León, Chair SB 1066 (Galgiani) - Missing or unidentified persons. Amended: April 3, 2014 Policy Vote: Public Safety 6-0 Urgency: No Mandate: Yes Hearing Date: May 12, 2014 Consultant: Jolie Onodera This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. Bill Summary: SB 1066 would make numerous amendments to the code sections relating to missing and unidentified persons, as specified. Fiscal Impact: Significant ongoing costs, potentially state-reimbursable (General Fund), for coroners and county medical examiners to report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on investigations of death of unidentified persons within 10 days, as specified. Non-reimbursable costs (Local) for county medical examiners and other local agencies to follow certain procedures when conducting an autopsy on an unidentified person, as the examinations are discretionary (see Staff Comments) Potentially significant state-reimbursable local costs (General Fund) for local law enforcement, coroners, and county medical examiners to submit dental charts, x-rays, and final reports of investigation to DOJ, as specified, for cases in which the identity of the body or human remains cannot be established. Potentially significant non-reimbursable local costs to police and sheriffs' departments to broadcast "Be On the Look-Out" bulletins for a larger population of missing persons up to age 21(currently bulletins are issued for missing persons under 16 years of age) and report electronically to DOJ, as specified. The DOJ has indicated no new costs to expand its publicly accessible internet directory to include at-risk missing and unidentified persons. Background: Existing law provides for numerous processes and procedures imposed on various agencies related to the handling and investigation of missing or unidentified persons. Current law places requirements on postmortem examinations or autopsies conducted at the discretion of a coroner, upon an unidentified SB 1066 (Galgiani) Page 1 body or human remains, and requires a law enforcement agency investigating the death of an unidentified person to report the death to the DOJ within 10 calendar days after the date the body or human remains were discovered. (GC §§ 27521, 27521.1) Current law requires local police and sheriffs' departments to accept reports of missing persons. In the event the missing person is under 16 years of age, or there is evidence that the person is at risk, the department is required to broadcast a "Be On the Lookout" bulletin within its jurisdiction. (PC § 14205) Existing law requires the DOJ to establish and maintain a publicly accessible computer internet directory of information relating to critical missing children, unsolved homicides, and persons for whom an arrest warrant has been issued, as specified. (PC § 14201.6) Proposed Law: This bill makes numerous changes to the code sections relating to missing and unidentified persons by: Requiring medical examiners and other agencies responsible for postmortem exams or autopsies follow certain procedures when conducting an autopsy on an unidentified body or human remains. Requires reports to the Department of Justice (DOJ) be completed on the DOJ Unidentified Deceased Person Reporting form, as specified. Expands requirements relating to the reports to the DOJ by local law enforcement. Requires the final report of investigation include any homicide report, anthropology report, fingerprints, photographs, and autopsy report. Expands the DOJ computer internet directory of information to include at-risk missing persons and unidentified persons. Expands the situations requiring a "Be On the Lookout" bulletin for any missing person be issued to persons under 21 years of age, instead of under 15 years. Requires local law enforcement to electronically report to DOJ within two hours, as specified. Provides that the Attorney General's database is the statewide database for x-rays and would require the AG to forward the information to the National Crime Information Center. Makes technical and conforming changes to the code sections relating to missing and unidentified persons. SB 1066 (Galgiani) Page 2 Staff Comments: This bill makes numerous amendments to existing provisions of law relating to missing and unidentified persons, several of which impose new or expanded duties on local agencies: Sections 6 and 7 - GC §§ 27521 and 27521.1 Existing law pursuant to GC § 27521 provides that a postmortem exam or autopsy conducted at the discretion of a coroner must include specified procedures including but not limited to the taking of all available fingerprints and palm prints, a dental examination and dental x-rays, the collection of tissue for future DNA testing, facial photographs, notations of scars, and retention of the jaws for one year after positive identification, as specified. Additionally, coroners are required to submit dental charts and x-rays, as well as a final report of investigation to the DOJ within specified time frames. This bill adds medical examiners and other agencies responsible for postmortem exams and autopsies to the list of entities that must follow the prescribed procedures, deletes the provisions related to DOJ reporting. Existing law pursuant to GC § 27521.1 provides that the law enforcement agency investigating the death of an unidentified person shall report the death to DOJ no later than 10 days after the date the body or human remains were discovered. This bill adds coroners and medical examiners to the list of agencies that must comply with this reporting period, and adds the provisions for DOJ reporting deleted from GC § 27521 noted above to this section of law. Staff notes the Commission on State Mandates (CSM) determined, in September 2003, that the test claim on Postmortem Examinations: Unidentified Bodies, Human Remains, 00-TC-18 (2003) Chapter 284/2000 is a partially reimbursable mandate for local law enforcement investigating the death of an unidentified person to report the death to the DOJ within 10 calendar days of the date the body or human remains are discovered. The CSM also found that coroners' tasks undertaken as part of a discretionary autopsy pursuant to GC § 27521 are not reimbursable (including taking fingerprints/palm prints, a dental exam, tissue collection, photographs, and recording observations about the deceased). Based on the CSM determination, it is projected that increased SB 1066 (Galgiani) Page 3 local agency costs due to amendments to GC § 27521 will be non-reimbursable, while the changes to GC § 27521.1 to mandate reporting of the death of an unidentified person to DOJ within 10 days and add the additional DOJ reporting provisions could potentially be reimbursable by the state. The costs associated with the additional duties are unknown but could be substantial. Section 22 - PC §14211 (formerly PC § 14205) This bill expands the population of persons for whom local police and sheriffs' departments must broadcast a "Be On the Lookout" bulletin, without delay, within its jurisdiction. Currently, bulletins must be issued for a missing person under 16 years of age, or if there is evidence that the person is at risk. This bill requires local law enforcement to issue bulletins for missing persons under 21 years of age. By expanding the population of missing persons for whom local agencies will be required to issue bulletins, local agencies could incur additional costs which would be dependent on the cost to issue such a bulletin and the volume of bulletins issued for those missing persons between the ages of 16 and 21 who would not otherwise be considered "at risk." Existing law requires that in a case where the person reported missing is under 21 years of age, or is at risk, that the local law enforcement agency report to DOJ within two hours after receipt of the report. This bill requires law enforcement agencies to report electronically within two hours, and that any information not immediately available for electronic transmission be provided as a supplement to the DOJ. While the costs to local agencies associated with these new duties could increase local costs substantially, these costs are estimated to be non-reimbursable by the state, as the requirements imposed under the section of law are not operative if the governing body of the local agency adopts a resolution making those requirements inoperative. Sections 11-21 - PC sections renumbered and amended The amendments to these sections generally reflect technical changes, such as updated cross-references and renumbering. One substantive amendment would expand the existing DOJ internet directory to include at-risk missing and unidentified persons. The DOJ has indicated no fiscal impact associated with this expansion. SB 1066 (Galgiani) Page 4 Recommended Amendments: To address potential costs, staff recommends amending the bill to retain the existing language of GC § 27521 (the provisions of which the CSM statement of decision 00-TC-18 indicated do not constitute a reimbursable state-mandated program), and amend only to add medical examiners and local agencies, in lieu of adding the new provisions to GC § 27521.1, which the CSM has determined do constitute a reimbursable state mandate.