BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 1701 (Gonzalez) - State claims
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          |Version: June 27, 2016          |Policy Vote:                    |
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          |Urgency: Yes                    |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 11, 2016   |Consultant: Robert Ingenito     |
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          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.  Pursuant to the Committee's rules, the Suspense  
          File rule does not apply to this bill as claims are considered  
          valid obligations of the state.  Additionally, claims may have  
          time sensitivity.

          Summary:  AB 1701, an urgency measure, would appropriate  
          approximately $450,000 from specified funds to the California  
          Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (board) for the  
          payment of 210 state claims.  

            Stale-dated warrants  : General Fund appropriations in the  
            amount of $408,878.43 to pay 184 claims, and appropriations  
            from specific budget items in the amount of $39,579.79 to pay  
            26 claims (General Fund/special funds).  All of these claims  
            are for reissuance of stale-dated warrants (expired checks).   


          AB 1701 (Gonzalez)                                     Page 1 of  
            The individual claim amounts range from $21.84 to $60,701.61.

          Background:  The State Board of Control was established in 1945.  It was  
          revised and renamed the Victim Compensation and Government  
          Claims Board by Chapter 1016/2000 (AB 2491, Jackson).   
          Government Code 13928 requires the board to ensure that all  
          claims that have been approved by the board, and for which no  
          legally available appropriation exists, are submitted for  
          legislative approval at least twice during each calendar year.   
          In general, the board will approve claims in November and  
          February.  Those claims are reported to the chairs of the  
          Appropriations Committees who introduce bills appropriating  
          General Funds and special funds to pay the claims.  These bills  
          may appropriate funds in amounts to the penny for tens to  
          hundreds of claims.  Government Code 906 provides for the  
          payment of interest on claims approved by the board for which an  
          appropriation has been made beginning 30 days after the  
          effective date of the law by which the appropriation is enacted.

          The re-issuance of stale-dated warrants is the most prevalent  
          claim approved by the board.  For stale-dated warrants, the  
          Controller must confirm that (1) the check was not cashed and  
          has not been issued and (2) more than three years have elapsed  
          since the check was issued and the monies have reverted to the  
          General Fund or to the relevant special fund.  For these  
          warrants an appropriation is needed to reissue the payment.   
          This category also may include state treasury bonds that have  
          not been redeemed within ten years of their maturity date (there  
          are no such claims in this bill), but the majority of warrants  
          are payroll or tax refund checks.  

          In addition to stale-dated warrants, existing law authorizes a  
          person convicted and imprisoned for a felony to submit a claim  
          to the board for pecuniary injury sustained as a result of  
          erroneous conviction and imprisonment.  Recent changes to these  
          provisions, SB 618 (Leno), Chapter 800/2013, specify that a  
          person who has secured a declaration of factual innocence from  
          the court after having his or her conviction set aside is  
          eligible  payment in a claim against the state.  Upon  
          application by the petitioner, the board shall, without a  
          hearing, recommend to the Legislature an appropriation to cover  
          the claim.  Likewise, if the court finds the petitioner has  


          AB 1701 (Gonzalez)                                     Page 2 of  
          proven his or her innocence by a preponderance of the evidence,  
          or the court grants a writ of habeas corpus concerning a person  
          who is unlawfully imprisoned, or when the court vacates a  
          judgment for a person on the basis of new evidence concerning a  
          person who is no longer unlawfully imprisoned, and the court  
          finds the evidence points unerringly to innocence, the board  
          shall, upon application by the claimant, without a hearing,  
          recommend to the Legislature an appropriation to cover the  
          petitioner's claim.

          Otherwise, a claimant is required to introduce evidence in  
          support of his or her claim at a hearing before the board, and  
          the Attorney General may introduce evidence in opposition.  The  
          claimant must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence: (a) the  
          crime was not committed at all, or, if committed, was not  
          committed by the claimant; (b) the claimant did not contribute  
          to the arrest or conviction for the crime; and (c) the claimant  
          sustained pecuniary injury though the erroneous conviction and  

          If a claimant meets the burden of proof, the board shall  
          recommend to the Legislature an appropriation of $140 per day of  
          incarceration served in a state prison subsequent to the  
          claimant's conviction.  That amount was recently raised from  
          $100 to $140, upon enactment of SB 635 (Nielsen), Chapter  
          422/2015, so claims approved by the board prior to January 1,  
          2016 provide payment of $100 per day of incarceration.

          Proposed Law:  
           This bill, an urgency measure, would appropriate $448,458.22 in  
          various state funds, including $408,878.43 directly from the  
          General Fund, to the board for the payment of 210 state claims  
          for reissuance of stale-dated warrants. This bill would not  
          appropriate funds related to erroneous convictions.

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