Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen
It was reported previously on this forum about California AB 1053 which if enacted , would raise the fee for certified copies for birth and death certificates from $3.00 to $12.00 ( a $9.00 increase) for death and from $7.00 to $18.00 for birth (an $11.00 increase) regardless of when the record event occurred. The bill passed the California Assembly and has had hearings in the Senate where it has been amended even further. The most recent amendment was on July 12, 2011 and it is scheduled for its second reading in Appropriations Committee on-August 15. To read the current version go to: http://tinyurl.com/4ysnz5m
The most recent version, retains the $9.00 and $11.00 increase respectively. The bill now splits the fee 15% for state and 85% for local/county registrars. In addition the increase is made incrementally, $5.00 as of January 1, 2012; $2.00 as of January 1, 2013 and $2.00 as of January 1, 2014. This provision is repealed on January 1, 2014 unless renewed or deleted.
However, a new section was added effective as of January 1, 2014 which would adjust the fees by the percentage change in that year's State Budget Act for those items appropriating funds to the state department that is responsible for birth and death records--the California Department of Public Health--Vital Records. The increase would include the total percentage change in salaries and operating expenses of the Department, not to exceed the total cost of the program or services provided. We would not know the increase of fees for each year starting with 2014 until the California budget is approved annually.
With the state fiscal crisis it is anticipated that the bill will pass with the additional fees. When further action is taken on the bill it will be reported on this forum.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee