BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                     SB 519

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          519 (Hancock)

          As Amended  July 16, 2015

          2/3 vote

          SENATE VOTE:  40-0

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Public Safety   |7-0  |Quirk, Melendez,      |                    |
          |                |     |Jones-Sawyer, Lackey, |                    |
          |                |     |Lopez, Low, Santiago  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Appropriations  |17-0 |Gomez, Bigelow,       |                    |
          |                |     |Bloom, Bonta,         |                    |
          |                |     |Calderon, Chang,      |                    |
          |                |     |Nazarian, Eggman,     |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher, Eduardo    |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |Jones, Quirk, Rendon, |                    |
          |                |     |Wagner, Weber, Wood   |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |


                                                                     SB 519

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          SUMMARY:  Makes reforms to rules governing the processing of  
          claims by the California Victim Compensation and Government  
          Claims Board (board).  Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Prohibits the board from requiring an applicant to submit  
            documentation from the Internal Revenue Service, the Franchise  
            Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, the Social  
            Security Administration, or the Employment Development  
            Department in order to determine eligibility for compensation.

          2)Requires all correspondence by the board to an applicant to be  
            written in specified languages.

          3)Prohibits the denial of a claim for a victim who is a minor  
            based on the grounds of failing to cooperate with law  

          4)Provides that a felon on probation or parole is eligible for  
            compensation for mental health counseling despite this status.

          5)Prohibits the board from establishing policy or regulations  
            limiting the amount recoverable for funeral expenses to less  
            than $7,500.

          6)Requires the board to approve or deny an application within 90  
            days of acceptance.

          7)Allows an applicant to be accompanied by a service animal at a  
            hearing to contest the denial of a claim.


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          8)Permits a crime victim to testify at a restitution hearing or  
            a modification hearing by live, two-way audio and video  
            transmission, if it is available at the court.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Establishes the board to operate the California Victim  
            Compensation Program (CalVCP).  
          2)Provides than an application for compensation shall be filed  
            with the board in the manner determined by the board.  

          3)States that, except as provided by specified sections of the  
            Government Code, a person shall be eligible for compensation  
            when all of the following requirements are met:

             a)   The person form whom compensation is being sought any of  
               the following:
               i)     A victim.
               ii)    A derivative victim.

               iii)    A person who is entitled to reimbursement for  
                 funeral, burial or crime scene clean-up expenses pursuant  
                 to specified sections of the Government Code.

             b)   Either of the following conditions is met:
               i)     The crime occurred within California, whether or not  
                 the victim is a resident of California.  This only  
                 applies when the VCGCB determines that there are federal  
                 funds available to the state for the compensation of  
                 crime victims.
               ii)    Whether or not the crime occurred within the State  
                 of California, the victim was any of the following:


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                  (1)       A California resident.  
                  (2)       A member of the military stationed in  

                  (3)       A family member living with a member of the  
                    military stationed in California.  

             c)   If compensation is being sought for derivative victim,  
               the derivative victim is a resident of California, or the  
               resident of another state who is any of the following:
               i)     At the time of the crimes was the parent,  
                 grandparent, sibling, spouse, child or grandchild of the  
               ii)    At the time of the crime was living in the household  
                 of the victim.  

               iii)   At the time of the crime was a person who had  
                 previously lived in the house of the victim for a person  
                 of not less than two years in a relationship  
                 substantially similar to a previously listed  

               iv)    Another family member of the victim including, but  
                 not limited to, the victim's fiancé or fiancée, and who  
                 witnessed the crime.  

               v)     Is the primary caretaker of a minor victim, but was  
                 not the primary caretaker at the time of the crime.

             d)   And other specified requirements.  
          4)States that an application shall be denied if the board finds  
            that the victim failed to reasonably cooperate with law  


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            enforcement in prosecution of the crime.  
          5)Disqualifies certain individuals from eligibility, including a  
            participant in the crime for which compensation is being  
            sought, and persons convicted of a felony who are currently on  
            probation or parole.  

          6)Authorizes the board to reimburse for pecuniary loss for the  
            following types of losses:

             a)   The amount of medical or medical-related expenses  
               incurred by the victim, subject to specified limitations.
             b)   The amount of out-patient psychiatric, psychological or  
               other mental health counseling-related expenses incurred by  
               the victim, as specified, including peer counseling  
               services provided by a rape crisis center.

             c)   The expenses of non-medical remedial care and treatment  
               rendered in accordance with a religious method of healing  
               recognized by state law.

             d)   Compensation equal to the loss of income or loss of  
               support, or both, that a victim or derivative victim incurs  
               as a direct result of the victim's injury or the victim's  
               death, subject to specified limitations.

             e)   Cash payment to, or on behalf of, the victim for job  
               retraining or similar employment-oriented services.

             f)   The expense of installing or increasing residential  
               security, not to exceed $1,000, with respect to a crime  
               that occurred in the victim's residence, upon verification  
               by law enforcement to be necessary for the personal safety  
               of the victim or by a mental health treatment provider to  


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               be necessary for the emotional well-being of the victim.

             g)   The expense of renovating or retrofitting a victim's  
               residence or a vehicle to make them accessible or  
               operational, if it is medically necessary.

             h)   Expenses incurred in relocating, as specified, if the  
               expenses are determined by law enforcement to be necessary  
               for the personal safety or by a mental health treatment  
               provider to be necessary for the emotional well-being of  
               the victim.

          7)Limits the total award to or on behalf of each victim to  
            $35,000, except that this amount may be increased to $70,000  
            if federal funds for that increase are available.  

          8)Requires the board to approve or deny applications, based on  
            recommendations by the board staff, within an average of 90  
            calendar days and no later than 180 calendar days of  
            acceptance by the board.  

          9)Requires the board, if it fails to meet the 90-day average, to  
            report to the Legislature on a quarterly basis its progress  
            and current average processing time.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

          1)Moderate administrative costs to the board to make a  
            determination within the required 90 days of receipt of the  
            claim, since this will increase the number of appeals.  If a  
            claim is incomplete, the board will deny the claim and the  


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            claimant will appeal the decision.  The language requirement  
            for all correspondence is consistent with current board  

          2)Increased ongoing claim costs in the $200,000 (General Fund)  
            range, $100,000 to provide mental health counseling for felons  
            and $100,000 to reimburse qualifying minors.  The $7,500  
            minimum reimbursement for funeral expense is the current  
            reimbursement rate

          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "It should not be surprising  
          that crime incurs all kinds of costs on its victims. In 2004, a  
          National Institute of Justice report estimated that the  
          nationwide costs of crime are $105 billion per year. When  
          factoring in pain-and-suffering and reduced quality of life,  
          that figure jumps to $450 billion. Making sure that victims are  
          compensated by their victimizers is not only good economic  
          policy, but morally sound.

          "Providing justice and compensation to Californians who are the  
          victims of crime are among the paramount missions of our  
          government.  The intent of SB 519 is to improve the way that the  
          Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board provides  
          compensation for crime victims."

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Sandy Uribe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744  FN:  


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