Aside from the budget, the legislature has been busy drafting and introducing new legislation. Here are just a few examples of bills that have been introduced so far this session.
- Senate Bill 40 – essentially grants the powers of probation and parole agents to search the person and home of individuals on extended supervision, probation or parole to law enforcement officers.
- Assembly Bill 62/Senate Bill 52 expands the definition of an intoxicant to include a substance that is inhaled, ingested, or otherwise consumed in a manner that is contrary to its intended use or labeling, and that is inhaled, ingested, or otherwise consumed to induce intoxication or elation, to stupefy the central nervous system, or to change the human audio, visual, or mental processes.
- Assembly Bill 68/Senate Bill 58 creates a misdemeanor penalty for first offense operating while intoxicated if the blood alcohol concentration is above 0.15.
- Assembly Bill 71/Senate Bill 60 increases penalties for third and subsequent offenses of operating while intoxicated.
- Assembly Bill 74/Senate Bill 100 creates a new Part D surcharge of $20 for all felony and misdemeanor convictions. The revenue is kept by the county and distributed by a newly created Crime Prevention Funding Board (CPFB). The CFPB is made up of the presiding judge, district attorney, the sheriff, the county executive/administrator/board chair, the presiding elected official of the largest municipality in the county, someone elected by the top law enforcement officials in the county, and someone appointed by the county public defender’s office.
While all of these will have an impact on the SPD or our clients, by far the most significant are bills to increase penalties for operating while intoxicated. The two bills listed above, plus a few others, have a combined estimated fiscal impact to the SPD of just over $2,000,000 per year. The estimated cost for these bills is likely to be a significant factor as they move through the legislative process.