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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Results are in for 2015 General Assembly Legislation/Bill Totals, for the First Time in 10 Years “Sex Offender” Bills with Fiscal Impact to State Budget Were NOT in the Top 3, BUT The Grand Total of “Sex Offender” Bills in 2015 Was Almost Identical to 2014!

 
First…. a Side Note: 

Have you ever wondered what Virginia Delegates and Senators submit the MOST Bills (proposed legislation) during a General Assembly session? 

How about what Virginia Delegates and Senators submit the LEAST number of Bills? 

What about their success rate, getting a bill through session to be signed, vetoed or amended by the Governor? Are there ANY Legislators who don’t get any bills passed or what about a 100% success rate, are there any? 

Well….just yesterday I found a news article that broke down these specific numbers for the 2015 session into two interactive charts. What’s the batting average for Virginia legislators? http://rvanews.com/news/whats-the-batting-average-for-virginia-legislators/124058 and it’s VERY interesting!
Ø       Of the 793 bills introduced in the Virginia Senate in 2015, 344 passed. That’s a 43.37% success rate.
Ø       Of the 1,125 bills introduced in the Virginia House in 2015, 455 passed. That’s a 40.44% success rate. 

OK……. 

A quick reminder for readers, the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC) is not a Legislative branch like the Virginia State Crime Commission (VSCC), members of the VCSC can be found here http://www.vcsc.virginia.gov/about.html . The VCSC is a Judicial branch, they mainly conduct studies and gather data on sentencing guidelines in Virginia. They hold 4 public meetings per year, the meetings begin at 10am and usually end around 12-noon, they are open to the public but very few people ever attend.   

The VCSC held their first meeting of 2015 today which always includes the “Top 7 Fiscal Impact Requests” for Legislation during the last Virginia General Assembly session, information I look forward to receiving as a volunteer advocate who attends the Virginia General Assembly session to oppose myth-based Sex Offender legislation. I attended today's meeting and have my copy of the full presentation which has not yet been posted on the VCSC website I've added the 2015 numbers to the last 9 years worth of data . 

A bit of background on Virginia Fiscal Impact Statements…..

Per Virginia law § 30-19.1:4:

v      As of July 1, 2000 the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission must prepare a fiscal impact statement for any bill that would result in a net increase in the population of offenders housed in state adult correctional facilities (prisons). 

v      As of July 1, 2002, the impact statement must:
§       Include an analysis of the impact on local and regional jails as well as state and local community corrections programs; and
§       Detail any necessary adjustments to the sentencing guidelines 

v      The Commission must estimate the increase in annual operating costs for prison facilities that would result if the proposal is enacted
§         A six-year projection is required
§         The highest single-year increase in operating costs is identified
§         This amount must be printed on the face of the bill
 
If the Commission does not have sufficient information to project the impact, § 30-19.1:4 states that the words "Cannot be determined" must be printed on the face of the bill. 

v      For each law enacted that results in a net increase in the prison population, a one-year appropriation must be made
§       Appropriation is equal to the highest single-year increase in operating costs during the six years following enactment 

v      Appropriations made pursuant to § 30-19.1:4 are deposited into the Corrections Special Reserve Fund 

v      The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) prepares a fiscal impact estimate for any bill that would result in a net increase in the juvenile population committed to the state
§       DJJ provides this information to the Commission and a combined statement is submitted to the General Assembly 

Code of Virginia § 30-19.1:4: 

v      The requirement for an impact statement includes, but is not limited to, proposals that:
1)      Add new crimes for which imprisonment is authorized;
2)     Increase the periods of imprisonment authorized for existing crimes;
3)     Raise the classification of a crime from a misdemeanor to a felony;
4)     Impose mandatory terms of imprisonment; or
5)     Modify the law governing release of prisoners 

v      The necessary appropriation is calculated by:
§       Estimating the net increase in the prison population likely to result from the proposal during the six years following enactment
§       Identifying the highest single-year population increase
§       Multiplying that figure by the cost of holding a prison inmate for a year (operating costs, excluding capital costs) 

v      Additional impact analyses may be conducted at the request of:
§       House Appropriations staff
§       Senate Finance staff
§       Department of Planning and Budget staff
§       Office of the Secretary of Public Safety 

I have compiled the last 10 years of data from the VCSC’s General Assembly Summary Presentations into 3 Charts, 2 had to be cut in half to fit on the blog. 

Most Common Types of Offenses from Legislation submitted by Legislators during Virginia General Assembly sessions:       

Chart #1.1  2015 to 2010
 
2015*
 
Short GA Session and Full Election Year
Long GA Session
Short GA Session and Partial  Election Year
Long GA Session
Short GA Session and Full Election Year
Long GA Session
Total # of Bills Filed/Submitted *
2,776
2,888
2,575
2,876
2,692
2,964
Total # of Bills Filed that had Fiscal Impact Statements *
265
251
342
287
211
207
Total # of “Sex Offender” Bills Filed/Submitted *
41
42
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
Total # of “Sex Offender” Bills with Fiscal Impact Statements *
12
53
52
71
29
16
#1 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Firearms
Sex Offender
Sex Offender
Sex Offender
Drugs
Murder
#2 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Human Trafficking
Firearms
Fraud/ Larceny
Fraud/ Larceny
Sex Offender
Assault
#3 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Ethics/ Disclosure
Ethics/ Disclosure
Firearms
Drugs
Protective Order
Sex Offender
#4 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
DWI/ Motor Vehicle
Drugs
Drugs
Assault
Assault
Gangs/  Gang Offenses
New Category of Crime /Offense in VCSC “Top 7
X
Human Trafficking  (came in at #7)
X
X
Protective Order        (came in at #3)
X
 
Note-                 Sex Offender came in at #7
 
 
 
 
 
* Data from VCSC Annual Presentations
* Presentation given on April 13, 2015 was not yet posted on-line to include a link when this post was published.
* Data from Mary Devoy it was taken directly from Richmond Sunlight website. Count might be on the low end for not counting every single Civil, Compensation Fund, Court Fee, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Campus Safety, or Revocation of Firearm Ownership Bill as a “Sex Offender” Bill. A list of the exact bill numbers that were counted and included in the above tallies is available.
 
Chart #1.2  2009 to 2005 
 
 
Short GA Session and Partial  Election Year
Long GA Session
Short GA Session and Full Election Year
Long GA Session
Short GA Session and Partial  Election Year
Total # of Bills Filed/Submitted *
2,577
3,323
3,069
3,069
Unknown
Total # of Bills Filed that had Fiscal Impact Statements *
117
304
263
336
243
Total # of “Sex Offender” Bills Filed/Submitted
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
Total # of “Sex Offender” Bills with Fiscal Impact Statements *
15
53
68
86
23
#1 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Sex Offender
Sex Offender
Sex Offender
Sex Offender
Drugs
#2 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Weapons
Prisoner/ Offender
Illegal Aliens
Drugs
Computer Crimes
#3 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Murder
Firearms
Gangs/  Gang Offenses
Fraud/ Larceny
Sex Offender
#4 Bill Submission with Fiscal Impact *
Assault
Assault on Law Enforcement
Unknown
Unknown
Firearms
New Category of Crime /Offense in VCSC “Top 7
X
X
X
X
Computer Crimes     (came in at #2)
* Data from VCSC Annual Presentations

 

Impact Analyses on ALL Legislation submitted during Virginia General Assembly sessions:                  

Chart #2.1  2015 to 2010
 
2015*
Expansion or Clarification of Crime* 
69.8%
60.6%
51.6%
63.2%
87.2%
New Crime*     
47.2%
47.0%
42.9%
40.8%
26.5%
Mandatory Minimum*             
  9.1%
  3.6%
10.2%
17.7%
12.8%
Misdemeanor to a Felony        *
23.0%
15.1%
29.2%
17.3%
10.9%
Increase Felony Punishment*
15.8%
  9.6%
  7.1%
  7.2%
   2.8%
Other*
38.9%
35.5%
12.1%
15.2%
0%
* Presentation given on April 13, 2015 was not yet posted on-line to include a link when this post was published.
* Percentages do not add to 100%, becuase one piece of proposed legislation (a Bill) can include more than one category. Multiple analyses may be performed on each bill, depending on the number of amended and substitute versions that are proposed or adopted. 

Chart #2.2  2009 to 2005                              

 
2009 
2007 
2006 
Expansion or Clarification of Crime* 
60.7%
45.4%
44.9%
39.0%
31.3%
New Crime*     
32.5%
36.5%
33.1%
41.7%
37.9%
Mandatory Minimum*             
  8.5%
  2.3%
11.8%
10.4%
  4.9%
Misdemeanor to a Felony        *
  6.0%
15.8%
10.6%
16.1%
16.5%
Increase Felony Punishment*
0%
  8.2%
12.2%
11.4%
  7.4%
Other*
0.9%
0.7%
0.8%
  4.8%
  6.6%
* Percentages do not add to 100%, becuase one piece of proposed legislation (a Bill) can include more than one category. Multiple analyses may be performed on each bill, depending on the number of amended and substitute versions that are proposed or adopted.

 
Chart #3 

Per Department of Planning and Budget the Annual operating cost Per Virginia Prisoner: 

FY2014
FY2013
FY2012
FY2011
FY2010
FY2009
FY2008
FY2007
FY2006
FY2005
FY2004
$30,397
$30,006
$29,081
$27,688
$27,065
 
$27,700
$27,294
$27,452
$25,709
$23,966
$22,854

      
 
Whew! 

Mary