Monday, May 16, 2011

California Vital Records Alert

I received this email from the California State Genealogical Alliance about the cost of Vital Records in California.

===========================

From: Legislative Watch Chair, CSGA

Assemblyman Gordon has introduced AB1053 and the bill has been referred to the Committee on Appropriations. Hearing will held on May 18, Wednesday. See links below to contact information for author and members of the Committee on Appropriations.

This bill would raise the basic fee for certified copies of vital records by $ 9 from the current $ 3. In other words, $ 9 will be added to the current fee for vital records. Example: If a county currently charges $19 for a birth record, the new fee would be $28. This is an enormous increase!

For questions regarding various fee elements being charged for vital record copies, please reference the pie chart in the 2011 Jan-Feb CSGA newsletter. The basic fee is being increased and added to other surcharges and program fees.

This increase would affect all vital records regardless of when the records were created. It is unfortunate that the increase would also apply to records created prior to 1906.

Today and tomorrow, you may wish to contact your Assemblyman, or Assemblyman Gordon, or members of the Committee to object to this proposed fee increase as 'unreasonable' before it goes to committee on Wednesday.

Assemblyman Gordon:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0021
Tel: (916) 319-2021
Fax: (916) 319-2121
Assemblyman Gordon:
District Office:
5050 El Camino Real Suite 117
Los Altos, CA 94022
Tel: (650) 691-2121
Fax: (650) 691-2120

** For the link to full text, see below. Here are portions of AB1053 for your ready information:
 
SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

...(a) The fees charged for providing certified copies of birth and
death records have not kept pace with the true cost of providing
certified copies of those records. Sections 5 and 6 of this act address
those deficiencies by raising the fees charged for those records to a
level that more accurately reflects the true costs incurred by the
agencies providing those certified copies.

...(b) The fees charged for the issuance of certified birth and death
records shall continue to reflect the true costs of the services provided
as those fees are to be adjusted annually by the formula set forth in
Section 100425 of the Health and Safety Code, and the amounts collected
are prohibited from exceeding the total increased reasonable cost for
the services provided.  
(The following reflects the $9 increased fee): 
SEC. 5.  Section 103625 of the Health and Safety Code, as amended by 
Section 9 of Chapter 529 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:
 
103625.  
...(a) A fee of twelve dollars ($12) shall be paid by the applicant for a 
certified copy of a fetal death or death record.
 
...(b) (1) A fee of twelve dollars ($12) shall be paid by a public agency 
or licensed private adoption agency applicant for a certified copy of a 
birth certificate that the agency is required to obtain in the ordinary 
course of business. A fee of eighteen-dollar ($18) shall be paid by any 
other applicant for a certified copy of a birth certificate. Four dollars 
($4) of any  eighteen-dollar ($18) fee is exempt from subdivision (e) 
and shall be paid either to a county children's trust fund or to the 
State Children's Trust Fund, in conformity with Article 5 (commencing 
with Section 18965) of Chapter 11 of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare 
and Institutions Code. Two dollars ($2) of any eighteen-dollar ($18) fee 
is exempt from subdivision (e) and shall be paid to the Umbilical Cord 
Blood Collection Program Fund in conformity with Section 1628.
......(2) The board of supervisors of any county that has established a 
county children's trust fund may increase the fee for a certified copy of 
a birth certificate by up to three dollars ($3) for deposit in the county 
children's trust fund in conformity with Article 5 (commencing with 
Section 18965) of Chapter 11 of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and 
Institutions Code.
 
...(c) A fee of three dollars ($3) shall be paid by a public agency
applicant for a certified copy of a marriage record, that has been
filed with the county recorder or county clerk, that the agency is
required to obtain in the ordinary course of business. A fee of six
dollars ($6) shall be paid by any other applicant for a certified
copy of a marriage record that has been filed with the county
recorder or county clerk. Three dollars ($3) of any six-dollar ($6)
fee is exempt from subdivision (e) and shall be transmitted monthly
by each local registrar, county recorder, and county clerk to the
state for deposit into the General Fund as provided by Section 1852
of the Family Code.
 
...(d) A fee of three dollars ($3) shall be paid by a public agency
applicant for a certified copy of a marriage dissolution record
obtained from the State Registrar that the agency is required to
obtain in the ordinary course of business. A fee of six dollars ($6)
shall be paid by any other applicant for a certified copy of a
marriage dissolution record obtained from the State Registrar.
 
...(e) Each local registrar, county recorder, or county clerk
collecting a fee pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive,
shall transmit 15 percent of the fee for each certified copy to the
State Registrar by the 10th day of the month following the month in
which the fee was received.
 
...(f) In addition to the fees prescribed pursuant to subdivisions
(a) to (d), inclusive, all applicants for certified copies of the
records described in those subdivisions shall pay an additional fee
of three dollars ($3), that shall be collected by the State
Registrar, the local registrar, county recorder, or county clerk, as
the case may be.
 
...(g) The local public official charged with the collection of the
additional fee established pursuant to subdivision (f) may create a
local vital and health statistics trust fund. The fees collected by
local public officials pursuant to subdivision (f) shall be
distributed as follows:
......(1) Forty-five percent of the fee collected pursuant to
subdivision (f) shall be transmitted to the State Registrar.
......(2) The remainder of the fee collected pursuant to subdivision (f)
shall be deposited into the collecting agency's vital and health
statistics trust fund, except that in any jurisdiction in which a
local vital and health statistics trust fund has not been
established, the entire amount of the fee collected pursuant to
subdivision (f) shall be transmitted to the State Registrar.
......(3) Moneys transmitted to the State Registrar pursuant to this
subdivision shall be deposited in accordance with Section 102247.
 
...(h) Moneys in each local vital and health statistics trust fund
shall be available to the local official charged with the collection
of fees pursuant to subdivision (f) for the applicable jurisdiction
for the purpose of defraying the administrative costs of collecting and 
reporting with respect to those fees and for other costs as follows:
......(1) Modernization of vital record operations, including
improvement, automation, and technical support of vital record
systems.
......(2) Improvement in the collection and analysis of health-related
birth and death certificate information, and other community health
data collection and analysis, as appropriate.
 
...(i) Funds collected pursuant to subdivision(f) shall not be used
to supplant funding in existence on January 1, 2002, that is
necessary for the daily operation of vital record systems. It is the
intent of the Legislature that funds collected pursuant to
subdivision (f) be used to enhance service to the public, to improve
analytical capabilities of state and local health authorities in
addressing the health needs of newborn children and maternal health
problems, and  to analyze the health status of the general population.
 
...(j) Each county shall annually submit a report to the State
Registrar by March 1 containing information on the amount of revenues
collected pursuant to subdivision (f) in the previous calendar year
and on how the revenues were expended and for what purpose.
 
...(k) Each local registrar, county recorder, or county clerk
collecting the fee pursuant to subdivision (f) shall transmit 45
percent of the fee for each certified copy to which subdivision (f)
applies to the State Registrar by the 10th day of the month following
the month in which the fee was received.
 
...(l) The additional three dollars ($3) authorized to be charged to
applicants other than public agency applicants for certified copies
of marriage records by subdivision (c) may be increased pursuant to
Section 114.
 
...(m) In providing for the expiration of the surcharge on birth
certificate fees on June 30, 1999, the Legislature intends that
juvenile dependency mediation programs pursue ancillary funding
sources after that date.
 
...(n) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends
that date.
 
SEC. 6.  Section 103625 of the Health and Safety Code, as added by
Section 10 of Chapter 529 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:
 
103625.  
...(a) A fee of twelve dollars ($12) shall be paid by the
applicant for a certified copy of a fetal death or death record.
 
...(b) (1) A fee of twelve dollars ($12) shall be paid by a public
agency or licensed private adoption agency applicant for a certified
copy of a birth certificate that the agency is required to obtain in
the ordinary course of business. A fee of sixteen dollars ($16) shall
be paid by any other applicant for a certified copy of a birth
certificate. Four dollars ($4) of any sixteen-dollar ($16) fee is
exempt from subdivision (e) and shall be paid either to a county
children's trust fund or to the State Children's Trust Fund, in
conformity with Article 5 (commencing with Section 18965) of Chapter
11 of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
......(2) The board of supervisors of any county that has established a
county children's trust fund may increase the fee for a certified
copy of a birth certificate by up to three dollars ($3) for deposit
in the county children's trust fund in conformity with Article 5
(commencing with Section 18965) of Chapter 11 of Part 6 of Division
 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
 
...(c) A fee of three dollars ($3) shall be paid by a public agency
applicant for a certified copy of a marriage record, that has been
filed with the county recorder or county clerk, that the agency is
required to obtain in the ordinary course of business. A fee of six
dollars ($6) shall be paid by any other applicant for a certified
copy of a marriage record that has been filed with the county
recorder or county clerk. Three dollars ($3) of any six-dollar ($6)
fee is exempt from subdivision (e) and shall be transmitted monthly
by each local registrar, county recorder, and county clerk to the
state for deposit into the General Fund as provided by Section 1852
of the Family Code.
 
...(d) A fee of three dollars ($3) shall be paid by a public agency
applicant for a certified copy of a marriage dissolution record
obtained from the State Registrar that the agency is required to
obtain in the ordinary course of business. A fee of six dollars ($6)
shall be paid by any other applicant for a certified copy of a
marriage dissolution record obtained from the State Registrar.
 
...(e) Each local registrar, county recorder, or county clerk
collecting a fee pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive,
shall transmit 15 percent of the fee for each certified copy to the
State Registrar by the 10th day of the month following the month in
which the fee was received.
 
...(f) In addition to the fees prescribed pursuant to subdivisions
(a) to (d), inclusive, all applicants for certified copies of the
records described in those subdivisions shall pay an additional fee
of three dollars ($3), that shall be collected by the State
Registrar, the local registrar, county recorder, or county clerk, as
the case may be.
 
...(g) The local public official charged with the collection of the
additional fee established pursuant to subdivision (f) may create a
local vital and health statistics trust fund. The fees collected by
local public officials pursuant to subdivision (f) shall be
distributed as follows:
......(1) Forty-five percent of the fee collected pursuant to
subdivision (f) shall be transmitted to the State Registrar.
......(2) The remainder of the fee collected pursuant to subdivision (f)
shall be deposited into the collecting agency's vital and health
statistics trust fund, except that in any jurisdiction in which a
local vital and health statistics trust fund has not been
established, the entire amount of the fee collected pursuant to
subdivision (f) shall be transmitted to the State Registrar.
......(3) Moneys transmitted to the State Registrar pursuant to this
subdivision shall be deposited in accordance with Section 102247.
 
...(h) Moneys in each local vital and health statistics trust fund
shall be available to the local official charged with the collection
of fees pursuant to subdivision (f) for the applicable jurisdiction
for the purpose of defraying the administrative costs of collecting
and reporting with respect to those fees and for other costs as
follows:
......(1) Modernization of vital record operations, including
improvement, automation, and technical support of vital record
systems.
......(2) Improvement in the collection and analysis of health-related
birth and death certificate information, and other community health
data collection and analysis, as appropriate.
 
...(i) Funds collected pursuant to subdivision (f) shall not be used
to supplant funding in existence on January 1, 2002, that is
necessary for the daily operation of vital record systems. It is the
intent of the Legislature that funds collected pursuant to
subdivision (f) be used to enhance service to the public, to improve
analytical capabilities of state and local health authorities in
addressing the health needs of newborn children and maternal health
problems, and to analyze the health status of the general population.

Full Text of AB1053:

Committee on Appropriation Members:

Assembly Roster:

==================================

I hope that the formatting of the bill's language isn't mangled too badly - copying Courier text from an email into Blogger creates all sorts of problems for me.  I tried to get the different sub-sections to start on a new line but didn't try to fix  the word-wrap problem.

The bottom line is that the California Legislature wants to charge more for certified vital records certificates so as to balance the State budget.  In the process, it appears that they want to help bail out the counties too. 

I don't know what the Law says now, and if I had it handy, I probably couldn't understand what it says.  All I know is that it costs about $13 to obtain a vital records certificate in San Diego County. 

Please don't ask me to interpret any of this - I'm just passing it on so that people smarter than I can try to do something about it.

1 comment:

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