BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 144 (Mathis) - Dumping
          
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          |Version: June 1, 2015           |Policy Vote: PUB. S. 7 - 0      |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: June 22, 2015     |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          
          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 144 would increase the penalty for illegal dumping of waste  
          matter in non-commercial quantities on private property for  
          fourth and subsequent convictions to a misdemeanor, as  
          specified, and would revise how fines are assessed during the  
          period the waste matter remains unabated.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
            Local jails :  Potential minor future increase in  
            non-reimbursable local costs (General Fund*) for enforcement  
            and incarceration to the extent the new misdemeanor results in  
            additional short-term jail sentences. 
            Accrued fines vs. separate violations  :  Unknown, potential  
            decrease in fine and state penalty revenues, potentially in  
            excess of $50,000 (General Fund), to the extent the same fine  
            as initially imposed accrues each day the waste matter remains  
            unabated versus the imposition of separate violations under  
            existing law, which would require cumulatively higher assessed  
            fines for the first three days the waste matter remains  






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            unabated and a higher assessed fine for the remainder of the  
            period.

          *Proposition 30 (2012) provides that legislation enacted after  
          September 30, 2012, that has an overall effect of increasing the  
          costs already borne by a local agency for realigned programs, as  
          specified, apply to local agencies only to the extent the State  
          provides annual funding for the cost increase. Although  
          legislation creating a new crime or revising the definition of  
          an existing crime is exempt from Proposition 30 state funding  
          requirements, legislation that changes the penalty for an  
          existing crime is not similarly specifically exempt. Illegal  
          dumping is an existing crime. To the extent increasing fourth  
          and subsequent convictions to a misdemeanor is determined to  
          change the penalty for this crime, any increase in costs to  
          local agencies attributable to the provisions of this  
          legislation could potentially require annual funding from the  
          State.


          Background:  Existing law provides for the following penalties for dumping  
          waste matter in non-commercial quantities in or upon a public or  
          private highway or road, or in or upon public or private  
          property without the owner's consent, as follows:
                 A mandatory fine of not less than $250 nor more than  
               $1,000 upon a first conviction;
                 A mandatory fine of not less than $500 nor more than one  
               $1,500 upon a second conviction; 
                 A mandatory fine of not less than $750 nor more than  
               $3,000 upon a third or subsequent conviction.  

          If the court finds that the waste matter placed, deposited, or  
          dumped was used tires, the fines imposed above are doubled.  
          Under existing law, each day the waste matter remains is a  
          separate violation. (Penal Code (PC)  374.3(a)-(e).)

          Under existing law, dumping waste matter on public or private  
          property in commercial quantities, as defined, is a misdemeanor,  
          punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to six months  
          and a fine of $1,000 to $3,000 for a first conviction, a fine of  
          $3,000 to $6,000 for a second conviction, and a fine of $6,000  
          to $10,000 for a third or subsequent conviction. (PC   
          374.3(h).)


          Proposed Law:  






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           This bill would increase the penalty for a fourth and  
          subsequent convictions for illegal dumping in non-commercial  
          quantities on private property without the consent of the owner  
          from an infraction to a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days  
          in a county jail and a fine of not less than $750 nor more than  
          $3,000.
          Additionally, this bill provides that a separate fine in the  
          same amount as initially imposed shall accrue for each day that  
          waste placed, deposited, or dumped remains unabated, but no  
          additional conviction for the purposes of punishment shall arise  
          for the same act.




          Staff  
          Comments:  Under Proposition 30 (2012), legislation that has an  
          overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a local  
          agency for realigned programs including managing local jails and  
          providing supervision of offenders, apply to local agencies only  
          to the extent the State provides annual funding for the cost  
          increase. Although legislation creating a new crime or revising  
          the definition of an existing crime is exempt from Proposition  
          30 state funding requirements, legislation that changes the  
          penalty for an existing crime is not similarly exempt. As  
          illegal dumping is an existing crime, to the extent increasing  
          the fourth and subsequent convictions to a misdemeanor is  
          determined to change the penalty for this crime, any increase in  
          costs to local agencies attributable to the provisions of this  
          legislation could potentially require annual funding from the  
          State. 
          Data from the Department of Justice reflects over 150 arrests  
          and 90 convictions for illegal dumping (non-commercial) in  
          calendar year 2014. However, it is unknown what percentage of  
          cases involved illegal dumping on private vs. public property,  
          and the length of time the waste matter was left unabated in  
          each case. As the misdemeanor penalty for fourth and subsequent  
          convictions is up to 30 days in county jail, the potential  
          increase in costs for local incarceration is estimated to be  
          minor.


          This bill revises how fines are assessed during the period waste  
          matter remains unabated, which could result in a reduction of  
          fine and associated penalty revenues to the State and counties.  
          This bill requires the same fine as initially imposed to accrue  






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          each day waste matter remains unabated versus the imposition of  
          separate violations under existing law for each day waste matter  
          remains unabated, which would require cumulatively higher  
          assessed fines for the first three days, resulting in a higher  
          assessed fine for the remainder of the period the waste matter  
          remains. While the potential reduction in fine and penalty  
          revenues in any one year is unknown, for even one case involving  
          waste matter left unabated for 30 days, the potential loss of  
          state penalty revenues could range from $14,000 to $68,000  
          (General Fund).


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