SB 10 Passes Appropriations Despite Unknown Fiscal Effect

Senate Bill 10 – Pretrial release or detention: pretrial services would repeal existing laws regarding bail as of October 1, 2019 and require that people detained by law enforcement undergo a risk assessment through by Pretrial Assessment Services.  On August 16, 2018 the bill underwent a number of amendments to try to appease concerns.  Still unclear is how the bill will be appropriately funded.

The fiscal effect according to a report released by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations made clear that there were unknown significant costs likely in the millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.  The appropriations analysis discusses four areas of potential fiscal effect:

Establishing Pretrial Services Agencies

According to the committee, to establish pretrial services agencies as required by SB-10 would result in “unknown significant mandated local costs, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.” Pretrial services agencies would be required to monitor defendants released under the program.

Rule Development, Training, Hearings

Furthermore, it is uncertain how much it would cost to develop the rules of court required to implement risk assessment.  The committee estimates that it could be in the millions to tens of millions of dollars annually to appropriately train judicial officers and hold the types of hearings required under the new bill.

Local Agency Coordination

The bill could also result in an unknown cost to local agencies, estimated in the millions of dollars annually, to meet the requirements of the pretrial service system.

Unknown Savings

The appropriations committee notes the potential for unknown savings due to less people being incarcerated pretrial.  However, the committee cautions that savings may not be monetary as any relief in jails would quickly be filled by other prisoners.

The bill still faces an uphill battle in the Assembly.  A similar bill passed the Senate last year but was defeated in the Assembly.

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