FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: January 25, 2019
Time Requested: 01:18 PM
Agency: Health and Human Resources, WV Department of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2441 Introduced HB2664
CBD Subject: Human Services


FUND(S):

0403 - DIV OF HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL ADMINISTRATION FUND, 8722 - CONS FEDERAL FUNDS DIV HUMAN SERVICES GEN ADMN FD, 8757 - FEDERAL BLOCK GRANT SOCIAL SERVICES FUND

Sources of Revenue:

General Fund FEDERAL

Legislation creates:





Fiscal Note Summary


Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.


    The purpose of this bill is to enact The Refugee Absorptive Capacity Act. The bill provides a short title. The bill defines terms. The bill sets forth the duties of the state office within the Department of Health and Human Resources that deals with refugees. The bill permits moratorium applications and cessations. The bill requires a fiscal impact assessment. The bill requires reports. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Resources to administer the West Virginia Refugee Resettlement Program Plan. The bill provides a severability position.
    
    The proposed legislation would require three new positions that would increase personal services and current expense. The Department estimates the fiscal impact would be $172,394 for the first year and $149,894 each subsequent year.
    
     There is a potential for increased revenue. However, at this time, it would not be cost effective to assess the fee as their were only three refugees in SFY2018.



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2019
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2020
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 172,394 149,894
Personal Services 0 146,994 146,994
Current Expenses 0 25,400 2,900
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0


Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):


    Total estimated cost for personal services for the FY2020 and ongoing would be $146,994. This would include $82,688 ($41,344 x 2) for two Health & Human Resource Specialist Seniors and $26,196 for one Office Assistant 3. Benefits in the amount of $38,110 ($108,884 x 35%) are also included in personal services.
    
    Current expenses for FY2020 and ongoing would include $2,900 for travel costs for two employees (2,500 miles x .58 cents x 2). The estimated start-up costs of $22,500 for three employees ($7,500.00 x 3) would be a one-time cost. Start-up costs includes costs for computers, furniture and office supplies. In future years, these costs will be reduced.



Memorandum


    The Department has very little authority or scope when dealing with refugees. The State Plan has been interpreted as dealing more broadly with refugee issues than it actually does. The State Plan is a plan for a single program that provides a pass-through grant for coordination of social services. The designation of a person as a refugee, their immigration status, their ability to cross borders or to relocate in the U.S. are beyond the scope and authority of the Department. Refugee status is a federally defined immigration status. The refugee screening and vetting process is conducted by international organizations and the federal government.
    
    Federal law prohibits the Department from discriminating against refugees, govern the services and benefits available to refugees and guarantee refugees the same rights to privacy as any other recipient of the Department benefits.
    
    The bill would also create obligations that would expand the Department's role in refugee resettlement beyond its scope and authority. The bill would require the costly use of state funds to meet the following requirements: reallocation or reclassification of the State Refugee Coordinator position, replacement personnel to take over the grant coordinator's duties, additional clerical and administrative positions to meet the requirements of the act plus additional travel costs, costs of mailings and system development costs. At present, these cannot be quantified.
    
    The bill has a flaw in section 15-15-3-(6). This section of the bill requires the state refugee coordinator to provide a report on or before July 1, 2019 for the fiscal and economic impact for the period of July 1, 2016 through July 1, 2021 of which the latter two years would be after the due date of the report.
    



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Bill J. Crouch
    Email Address: Bill.J.Crouch@wv.gov