BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          1127 (Cooley)


          As Amended  April 6, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Local           |5-3   |Gonzalez, Alejo,    |Maienschein, Linder,  |
          |Government      |      |Chiu, Cooley,       |Waldron               |
          |                |      |Holden              |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Judiciary       |7-3   |Mark Stone, Alejo,  |Wagner, Gallagher,    |
          |                |      |Chau, Chiu,         |Maienschein           |
          |                |      |Cristina Garcia,    |                      |
          |                |      |Holden, O'Donnell   |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          SUMMARY:  Allows Sacramento County to increase fees by up to $4  
          for certified copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates,  
          fetal death records, and death records to fund domestic and family  
          violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution.  Specifically,  
          this bill:  










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          1)Establishes the Sacramento County Zero Tolerance for Family  
            Violence and Human Trafficking Act.


          2)Allows the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (Board), upon  
            making findings and declarations for the need for governmental  
            oversight and coordination of the multiple agencies dealing with  
            domestic violence, to authorize an increase in the fees for  
            certified copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates,  
            fetal death records, and death records, up to a maximum increase  
            of $4.


          3)Allows the Board, effective July 1 of each year, to authorize an  
            increase in these fees by an amount equal to the increase in the  
            California Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding calendar  
            year, rounded to the nearest $0.50.  The fees shall be allocated  
            pursuant to the provisions outlined in 7) through 9) below.


          4)Requires an applicant for a certified copy of a marriage  
            certificate, birth certificate, a fetal death record, or death  
            record in Sacramento County to pay to the local registrar,  
            county recorder, or county clerk the fees established by the  
            Board pursuant to 2) and 3) above.


          5)Requires the Board to submit to the Legislature, no later than  
            July 1, 2017, a report containing the following information:


             a)   The total annual amount of funds received and expended  
               from fee increases for the purpose of governmental oversight  
               and coordination of domestic violence prevention,  
               intervention, and prosecution efforts in the county; and,


             b)   Outcomes achieved as a result of the activities associated  
               with the Sacramento County Zero Tolerance for Family Violence  








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               and Human Trafficking Act.


          6)Requires the report described above to be submitted in  
            compliance with existing law governing the process for  
            submitting reports to the Legislature.


          7)Requires the Board to direct the local registrar, county  
            recorder, and county clerk to deposit fees collected pursuant to  
            the provisions described, above, into a special fund.  


          8)Requires proceeds from the fund to be used for governmental  
            oversight and coordination of domestic violence and family  
            violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution efforts among  
            the court system, the district attorney's office, the public  
            defender's office, law enforcement, the probation department,  
            mental health, substance abuse, child welfare services, adult  
            protective services, and community-based organizations and other  
            agencies working in Sacramento County in order to increase the  
            effectiveness of prevention, early intervention, and prosecution  
            of domestic and family violence.


          9)Allows Sacramento County to retain up to 4% of the fund for  
            administrative costs associated with the collection and  
            segregation of the additional fees and the deposit of these fees  
            into the special fund.  


          10)Makes the following findings and declarations:


             a)   Since 2005, over 150 individuals have died in homicides  
               related to domestic violence.  This number includes children,  
               one as young as two years old;










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             b)   In 2013 alone, a total of 18,000 domestic violence-related  
               calls were reported by law enforcement entities within  
               Sacramento County, with over 4,000 adult cases arrested and  
               over 2,400 cases filed and prosecuted;


             c)   More than 21,000 crisis calls are made to the three  
               domestic violence shelter programs in Sacramento County every  
               year;


             d)   Domestic violence has many hidden costs.  These costs  
               include exposing children to recruitment by human  
               traffickers.  Currently in Sacramento, 76% of the children  
               screened by the juvenile court are found to be involved with,  
               or vulnerable for recruitment to, human trafficking have a  
               family history with child protective services, and 20% have  
               an open case with child protective services;


             e)   Sacramento has a high rate of human trafficking, and in  
               2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Human  
               Trafficking Task Force, in a multiday sweep involving  
               Sacramento, rescued the sixth highest total of underage  
               trafficking victims in the country;


             f)   Domestic violence is ubiquitous, it cuts across all  
               economic and education levels, all age groups, ethnicities,  
               and other social and community characteristics;


             g)   Domestic violence is insidious, it is characterized by a  
               predictable, repetitious cycle that can result in injury or  
               death of victims, including children;


             h)   Domestic violence puts children at risk.  Children in  
               homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or  








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               seriously neglected at a rate significantly higher than the  
               national average in the general population;


             i)   Domestic violence is learned and generational.  Studies  
               show that boys who witness family violence are more likely to  
               batter their female partners as adults than boys raised in  
               nonviolent homes.  Girls who witness their mothers' abuse  
               have higher rates of being battered as adults and it is often  
               a precursor to becoming a victim of human trafficking.  Over  
               80% of victims of human trafficking either suffered abuse in  
               their homes or witnessed such abuse between parents;


             j)   Substance abuse is a significant factor contributing to,  
               although not necessarily a cause of, domestic violence.  Many  
               domestic violence offenders have documented histories of  
               substance abuse or were under the influence of drugs or  
               alcohol at the time a felony crime was committed.  Over 80%  
               of human trafficking victims had parents that abused  
               substances;


             aa)  Domestic violence is costly, both in human and  
               organizational terms.  The results of domestic violence have  
               many hidden costs, such as job turnover, loss of  
               productivity, school absenteeism, low school performance, in  
               addition to the high cost of law enforcement, civil and  
               criminal justice, health services, mental health services,  
               substance abuse treatment, human services, and  
               community-based services;


             bb)  The domestic violence prevention, intervention, and  
               prosecution system is complex and multifaceted, spanning  
               civil, criminal, health, and social service sectors, and in  
               order to be effective, there must be an alignment in the  
               objectives, protocols, policies, and activities of each  
               sector; and,








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             cc)  A special law is necessary and a general law cannot be  
               made applicable within the meaning of California Constitution  
               Article IV, Section 16 because of the unique circumstances of  
               Sacramento County with respect to domestic violence and human  
               trafficking.


          11)Provides that this bill shall remain in effect only until  
            January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later  
            enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes  
            or extends that date.


          EXISTING LAW allows the following local jurisdictions to increase  
          fees for copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates,  
          fetal death records, and death records to fund governmental  
          oversight and coordination of domestic violence prevention,  
          intervention, and prosecution programs:  the City of Berkeley  
          (birth and death records only) and the Counties of Alameda, Contra  
          Costa, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None


          COMMENTS:  


          1)Bill Summary.  This bill allows Sacramento County to increase  
            fees by up to $4 for certified copies of marriage certificates,  
            birth certificates, fetal death records, and death records to  
            fund domestic and family violence prevention, intervention, and  
            prosecution.  The Board must submit a report to the Legislature  
            by July 1, 2017, a report containing the following information:


             a)   The total annual amount of funds received and expended  








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               from fee increases for the purpose of governmental oversight  
               and coordination of domestic violence prevention,  
               intervention, and prosecution efforts in the county; and,


             b)   Outcomes achieved as a result of the activities associated  
               with the Sacramento County Zero Tolerance for Family Violence  
               and Human Trafficking Act.


            This bill is sponsored by the Board and the Sacramento County  
            District Attorney.


          2)Author's Statement.  According to the author, "In 2013 alone, a  
            total of 18,000 domestic violence-related calls were reported by  
            law enforcement entities within Sacramento County.  More than  
            21,000 crisis calls are made to the three domestic violence  
            shelter programs in Sacramento County every year.


            "Domestic violence puts children at risk.  Children in homes  
            where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or  
            seriously neglected at a rate significantly higher than the  
            national average.  Children in these homes are more vulnerable  
            to recruitment to human traffickers.  Currently, in Sacramento,  
            76 percent of children screened by the Juvenile Court and found  
            to be involved or vulnerable for recruitment to trafficking have  
            a family history with Child Protective Services (CPS).  Twenty  
            percent have an open case with CPS.


            "The domestic violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution  
            system is complex and multi-faceted.  It spans the civil,  
            criminal, health and social service sectors.  To ensure the  
            effectiveness of the efforts to address domestic violence in  
            these sectors, it is necessary to ensure that their objectives,  
            protocols, policies, and activities are aligned."









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          3)Background.  The Legislature has allowed the following local  
            jurisdictions to increase fees for copies of marriage  
            certificates, birth certificates, fetal death records, and death  
            records to fund governmental oversight and coordination of  
            domestic violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution  
            programs:  the City of Berkeley (birth and death records only)  
            and the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Sonoma, and  
            Stanislaus.


            Contra Costa is allowed an increase of $4, while all other  
            jurisdictions are allowed a $2 increase.  All jurisdictions may  
            approve additional increases based on the CPI for the San  
            Francisco metropolitan area.  These programs were initially  
            established on a pilot basis and were made permanent after  
            submitting required reports on their effectiveness to the  
            Legislature (with the exception of Stanislaus County, which has  
            a sunset date of January 1, 2016).


            This bill establishes in a nearly identical fashion the same  
            authority for Sacramento County, which estimates additional  
            revenue of $500,000 annually from the bill's authority.   
            Sacramento County's current fees for these records range from  
            $11 to $28, depending on the type or record requested and the  
            type of requestor (a government agency or a member of the  
            public).  Sacramento County would like to use funds generated by  
            the fee increases to assist in establishing a Family Justice  
            Center.


          4)Sacramento County Family Justice Center.  According to  
            Sacramento County's Web site, "In 2011, the national Family  
            Justice Center Alliance chose Sacramento County to receive  
            initial funds to launch a Family Justice Center (FJC).  The FJC  
            will be available to serve victims of family violence and sexual  
            assaults, including victims of marital and dating violence,  
            elder and child abuse and human trafficking.  The FJC  








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            collaborative will include government agencies and community  
            based organizations working together with one central facility  
            where victims and their families can come to access almost all  
            services available in the county. 


            "Services will include immediate crisis intervention, safety  
            planning, social service eligibility, counseling, child  
            advocacy, emergency food and transportation, and many other  
            support services designed to keep them from falling back into  
            the hands of the accused.  Services will be either housed at the  
            center or linked via video.  Although there are currently 15  
            FJCs throughout California, the Sacramento center will be a  
            first-of-its-kind in the state because it will integrate  
            Sacramento State as a key partner.  The center will provide  
            unique learning and research opportunities for both students and  
            faculty members."


          5)Proposition 26 (2010).  In the November 2010 election,  
            California voters approved Proposition 26, which amended the  
            California Constitution to expand the definitions of local taxes  
            and tax increases that require voter approval.  Under  
            Proposition 26, any levy, charge, or exaction of any kind  
            imposed by a local government is a tax, requiring voter  
            approval, except for:


             a)   A charge for a benefit or privilege conveyed directly to  
               the payor and not conveyed to those not charged;


             b)   A charge for a service or product provided directly to the  
               payor and not provided to those not charged;


             c)   A fee to cover certain costs of regulation;










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             d)   Entrance fees for state or local property;


             e)   Fines imposed by a court or a local government;


             f)   A charge imposed as a condition of property development;  
               and,


             g)   Assessments and property-related fees governed by  
               Proposition 218 (1996).


            It is not clear that local fees on vital records to fund the  
            coordination of domestic violence prevention efforts qualify as  
            fees under any of Proposition 26's exceptions.  Instead, they  
            may be local special taxes, which must be approved by two-thirds  
            of voters before they can be added to the charges for copies of  
            vital records.


          6)Policy Considerations.  This bill establishes the Sacramento  
            County Zero Tolerance for Family Violence and Human Trafficking  
            Act.  While the provisions of this bill are nearly identical to  
            existing programs for a handful of other local jurisdictions in  
            California, including the purposes for which funds generated by  
            increased fees must be allocated, the inclusion of human  
            trafficking in these statutes is new.  While the prevention of  
            human trafficking is laudable, the Legislature may wish to  
            consider whether the statutes governing the authority of local  
            jurisdictions to increase fees for the support of programs  
            addressing domestic violence should include human trafficking in  
            the language.


          7)Previous Legislation.  AB 1852 (Campos) of 2012 would have  
            allowed a county board of supervisors, or a city council of a  
            city with a local registrar, to increase fees for certified  








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            copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates, fetal death  
            records, and death records by up to $5.  AB 1852 was vetoed with  
            the following message:


               Domestic violence and child abuse prevention programs  
               are well worth the investment of public funds, but  
               seeking a fee increase on vital records, when the fee is  
               already going up by $6 for some of these records, would  
               burden people of modest means.


            AB 1770 (Galgiani), Chapter 578, Statutes of 2010, established a  
            similar domestic violence prevention funding pilot program in  
            Stanislaus County until January 1, 2016.  


            SB 635 (Wiggins), Chapter 356, Statutes of 2009, established a  
            similar domestic violence prevention funding pilot program in  
            Sonoma County until January 1, 2015.  SB 154 (Wolk), Chapter  
            120, Statutes of 2011, repealed the sunset date, making the  
            program permanent.


            SB 425 (Torlakson), Chapter 90, Statutes of 2001, established a  
            similar domestic violence prevention funding pilot program in  
            Contra Costa County.  SB 968 (Torlakson), Chapter 635, Statutes  
            of 2006, repealed the sunset date, making Contra Costa's program  
            effective indefinitely.  


            AB 2010 (Hancock), Chapter 830, Statutes of 2004, established  
            the pilot programs in Alameda County and Solano County.  AB 1712  
            (Hancock), Chapter 545, Statutes of 2005, authorized the City of  
            Berkeley, within Alameda County, to also participate in the  
            pilot program.  AB 73 (Hayashi), Chapter 215, Statutes of 2009,  
            repealed the sunset date, making Alameda's and Berkeley's  
            programs effective indefinitely.    









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          8)Arguments in Support.  The Board and the Sacramento County  
            District Attorney, sponsors of this bill, write, "Research done  
            by the Family Justice Center Alliance found that 'survivors?  
            benefitted from a comprehensive service approach that considered  
            the context of a safe and supportive environment, in an  
            all-in-one service approach that included the therapeutic and  
            legal needs of survivors, and individualized services that  
            emphasized emotional support and survivors getting the help they  
            need.'  


            "The service model contemplated in Sacramento County would serve  
            victims of not only domestic violence, but also family violence  
            including child abuse victims as well as survivors of human  
            trafficking.  This comprehensive approach to service delivery is  
            vital to producing more positive outcomes and making the receipt  
            of services easier for victims.


            "The family justice center model has seen significant successes  
            across the state.  Since adopting this model, Alameda County has  
            had a 20 percent reduction in domestic violence case dismissals;  
            improved inter-agency collaboration; a dramatic reduction in  
            domestic violence homicides (from 31 in 2001 to 3 in 2007); and,  
            provided over 20,000 coordinated client services since opening.   
            Sacramento County wishes to be counted among these successes."


          9)Arguments in Opposition.  The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers  
            Association, in opposition, states, "While the purpose of this  
            tax - to provide a source of funding for domestic violence  
            programs - is laudable, the means to that end is flatly illegal  
            and will only engender expensive and protracted litigation.  AB  
            1127, simply stated, violates Proposition 26? (which) lists a  
            series of five regulatory fee exemptions that allow levies to  
            not be termed tax increases.  Of these, only one is really even  
            debatable.  [California Constitution] Article XIII C, section  
            1(e)(3) exempts 'A charge imposed for the reasonable regulatory  








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            costs to a local government for issuing licenses and permits,  
            performing investigations, inspections, and audits,... and the  
            administrative enforcement and adjudication thereof.'

            "This exemption is also inapplicable because the revenue from  
            the AB 1127 fee is not being used to regulate the payers of the  
            fee.  There is no proof that marriage, for example (much less  
            birth or death) leads to domestic violence.  In fact, the  
            opposite is true.  Empirical studies show that married couples  
            are less likely candidates for domestic violence than persons in  
            unmarried relationships.  Therefore, most payers will never be  
            covered by the funded programs.  

            "Moreover, local governments simply do not regulate marriages.   
            They do not conduct regulatory inspections or audits to enforce  
            rules on married households.  The exemption was obviously  
                      intended by voters to refer to regulated business activities,  
            not marriages.  In sum, because of the lack of an appropriate  
            regulatory nexus, AB 1127 purports to authorize a special tax  
            without the requisite two-thirds vote."



          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Angela Mapp / L. GOV. / (916) 319-3958  FN:  
          0000374