LEGISLATIVE FISCAL ESTIMATE

[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 2469

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

DATED: OCTOBER 21, 2016

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Synopsis:

Provides that AG handle investigation and prosecution of crime involving person's death by law enforcement officer while acting in officer's official capacity or while in custody; requires trial in venue outside county where incident occurred.

Type of Impact:

Indeterminate Recurring Fiscal Impacts on State General Fund and County Governments.

Agencies Affected:

Department of Law and Public Safety, and County Governments.

 

Office of Legislative Services Estimate

Fiscal Impact

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

 

Annual State Fiscal Impact

Indeterminate Ė See comments below.

 

Annual Local Fiscal Impact

Indeterminate Ė See comments below.

 

 

 

 

         The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) finds that the bill will affect annual State and county government finances, as the bill will shift from counties to the State Department of Law and Public Safety the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting crimes involving a personís death that occurred during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officerís official capacity or while the person was in custody.† The OLS, however, cannot determine the direction or magnitude of the fiscal net impacts.

         The bill will increase the workload of the Department of Law and Public Safety.† Depending on the departmentís resource allocation policies, this could cause an indeterminate annual State expenditure increase. †The department, however, may be able to recoup any cost increase in part or in full from counties.

         The billís recurring net effect on county finances is indeterminate.† †Counties will experience a workload reduction that could lead to indeterminate recurring in-house expenditure decreases, depending on county prosecutor office resource allocation policies. †But counties may also incur indeterminate larger payments to the State if the State Department of Law and Public Safety were to seek expense reimbursements from counties.

BILL DESCRIPTION

 

††††† Senate Bill No. 2469 (2R) of 2016 shifts from counties to the Office of the Attorney General in the State Department of Law and Public Safety the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting crimes involving a personís death that occurred during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officerís official capacity or while the person was in custody.† Under current law counties conduct the investigations and prosecutions unless the Office of the Attorney General invokes its discretionary power to claim jurisdiction. †††

††††† The bill also requires that the identity of each arresting and investigating officer remain subject to the Stateís Open Public Records Act (OPRA), P.L.1963, c.73 (N.J.S.A.47:1A-1 et seq.), under which provisions already exist concerning public disclosure of the names.

 

 

FISCAL ANALYSIS

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

††††† None received.

 

 

OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE SERVICES

 

††††† The OLS finds that the bill will result in recurring fiscal impacts on the State and county governments in whose jurisdiction arrest-related deaths occur.† The OLS, however, can determine neither the direction nor the magnitude of the fiscal net impacts.†

††††† State Impact:† The Department of Law and Public Safety will experience a workload increase, as the bill will shift from counties to the department the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting crimes involving arrest-related deaths.† Under current law the department may already claim jurisdiction over such investigations and prosecutions. ††††

††††† Depending on department resource allocation policies, the additional workload could cause an indeterminate annual expenditure increase.† The department, however, may be able to recoup a portion or all of any cost increase from counties under N.J.S.A.52:17B-108.† Subject to certain conditions, the existing law requires a county to reimburse the department for the expenses the department incurs in prosecuting the criminal business of the county.† The OLS, however, cannot determine to what extent the bill will increase the departmentís expenditures and to what extent the department will seek reimbursements therefor from counties.

††††† County Impact:† The OLS cannot determine the direction and magnitude of the billís fiscal net impact on counties.The billís shifting from counties to the State of the responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of arrest-related deaths has the potential to produce two countervailing county cost effects. †First, the bill reduces the workload of county prosecutor offices.† Depending on the officesí resource allocation policies, the workload reductions may result in indeterminate recurring in-house expenditure decreases. †Second, counties may also incur indeterminate larger payments to the State if the State Department of Law and Public Safety were to seek additional expense reimbursements under N.J.S.A.52:17B-108.

††††† Arrest-Related Deaths Data:† The OLS has no recent data on the number of arrest-related deaths occurring annually in New Jersey.† But, according to federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), there were an average of 11.5 cases annually reported between 2003 and 2009.† The BJS collects data through the Arrest-Related Death (ARD) program, which aims to track persons who die in custody in the United States at the state level.† Some 4,813 deaths were reported nationally to the ARD program from January 2003 through December 2009 (not all states participated).† New Jersey accounted for 81 of the arrest-related deaths over the five-year period. †Of the 81 deaths, 47 were classified as homicides by law enforcement personnel, seven were suicides, nine were due to intoxication, six were accidental injuries, eight were attributed to natural causes, and four deaths were listed as unknown.

 

Section:

Law and Public Safety

Analyst:

Kristin Brunner Santos

Senior Fiscal Analyst

Approved:

Frank W. Haines III

Legislative Budget and Finance Officer

 

This legislative fiscal estimate has been produced by the Office of Legislative Services due to the failure of the Executive Branch to respond to our request for a fiscal note.

 

This fiscal estimate has been prepared pursuant to P.L.1980, c.67 (C.52:13B-6 et seq.).