FUND(S):

0226

Sources of Revenue:

General Fund

Legislation creates:

Neither Program nor Fund



Fiscal Note Summary


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


    The bill proposes an increase in the hourly rates paid to court appointed attorneys who handle child abuse and neglect proceedings. The rates would increase from $45/hour to $75/hour for out of court work, and from $65/hour to $95/hour for in-court work, including multidisciplinary training (for which WVPDS has never previously compensated).
    
    The bill would add costs to WVPDS. Currently, WVPDS pays approximately $7,700,000 in attorneys fees to court appointed attorneys in abuse/neglect cases, which is the highest amount paid for all eligible proceedings.
    
    Using hourly figures from FY 2012, I estimate a cost increase of approximately $4,770,000 in FY 2014 and succeeding years.



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2013
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2014
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 4,779,510 4,779,510
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 4,779,510 4,779,510
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):


    In FY 2012, WVPDS paid court-appointed attorneys for 26,392 hours of in-court legal representation (at $65/hour) and for 132,925 hours of out-of-court work (at $45/hour), resulting in total payments of $7,698,902.
    
    Assuming the same number of hours, I estimate that if these hourly rates are increased by $30/hour, the total payment figure would increase to approximately $12,478,403, an increase of approximately $4,779,501.



Memorandum


    Although the bill would create a substantial pay disparity between attorneys appointed to handle different types of cases under the WVPDS statutes, WVPDS fully supports any increase in the hourly rates, which have not been raised since 1990. Person submitting Fiscal Note: Russell S. Cook
     Email Address: Russell.S.Cook@wv.gov