Current Status Bill Number:
1125Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19960213Primary Sponsor: FairAll Sponsors: FairDrafted Document Number: dka\3437cm.96Companion Bill Number: 4463Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Judiciary Committee 25 HJSubject: Victim impact statements
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19960430 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Senate 19960426 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19960425 Read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Friday, 19960426 Senate 19960424 Committee report: Favorable 11 SJ Senate 19960213 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 24, 1996
S. Printed 4/24/96--S.
Read the first time February 13, 1996.
To whom was referred a Bill (S. 1125), to amend Section 16-3-1550, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass:
GLENN F. McCONNELL, for Committee.
1. Estimated Cost to State-First YearMinimal to $471,200
2. Estimated Cost to State-Annually Thereafter
Minimal to $471,200
Prosecution Coordination Commission
Fiscal impact of this legislation can be estimated as follows:
The Solicitor's Victim/Witness Assistance Unit in each judicial circuit currently has the responsibility of providing information to the sentencing judge regarding the impact on victims of crime in General Sessions Court. This legislation would expand that responsibility into the Family Courts of the state.
The Victim/Witness Assistance Units within the various judicial circuits are currently funded by two revenue sources. First, funds are provided through a general fund appropriation of $21,309 within the Governor's Office, Division of Victim Assistance. Second, other funds are allocated to each unit from fines associated with driving under the influence (DUI) violations.
Additional appropriations for Solicitors will likely be necessary to implement this legislation given the increase in Family Court responsibilities; however, since no reliable data base exists to estimate the number of family court cases that would require a victim impact statement, an estimate of costs is difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume at least minimal costs to result from implementation of this legislation.
At a maximum, implementation of this legislation would require at least one additional employee per circuit to undertake the responsibilities of providing information to the sentencing judge regarding the impact on victims of crime in Family Court. The following is estimated cost to implement the requirement of the legislation given this assumption: (16) FTE including employer contributions $380,000; recurring operating expenses $60,800, non-recurring operating expenses $30,400, for a total of $471,200.
* The staff of the Solicitors' Victim/Witness Assistance Units are considered county employees.
Attorney General's Office
The Office of the Attorney General states that there will be minimal impact if this legislation is enacted.
Pursuant to Section 2-7-76 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, 1976, the State Budget Office has surveyed members of the FIST network. The responses will be forwarded to the committee upon receipt.
Should an other funds source be identified and directed to underwrite the costs of Family Court victims' impact statements in a similar manner as DUI fines for Circuit Court victims' impact statements, the general fund fiscal impact of this proposed legislation would decrease accordingly.
Michael L. Shealy
Office of State Budget
TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-1550, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A STATEMENT MAY BE CONSIDERED AT A SENTENCING OR DISPOSITION HEARING IN FAMILY COURT, AND A COPY OF A STATEMENT MUST BE FORWARDED TO THE BOARD OF JUVENILE PAROLE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 16-3-1550(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 83 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"(B) It is the responsibility of the solicitor's Victim or Witness Assistance Unit in each judicial circuit or a representative designated by the solicitor or law enforcement agency handling the case to advise all victims of their right to submit to the court, orally or in writing at the victim's option, a victim impact statement to be considered by the judge at the sentencing or disposition hearing in General Sessions Court, Family Court, and at a parole hearing. The solicitor's office or law enforcement agency shall provide a copy of the written form to any victim who wishes to make a written report. In cases where the solicitor determines that there has been extensive or significant impact on the life of the victim, the Victim or Witness Assistance Unit shall assist the victim in completing the form. The victim shall submit this statement to the solicitor's office within appropriate time limits set by the solicitor to be filed in the court records by the solicitor's office so it may be available to the defense for a reasonable period of time before sentencing. The court shall allow the defendant to have the opportunity to rebut the victim's written statement if the court decides to review any part of the statement before sentencing. If the defendant is incarcerated, the solicitor shall forward a copy of the impact statement and copies of all completed Victim/Witness Notification Requests to the Department of Corrections, the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services, and to the Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services Board, and to the Board of Juvenile Parole. Solicitors shall begin using these victim impact statements no later than January 1, 1985."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.