H.R. 620 would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish a program to educate state and local governments and property owners on strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for persons with disabilities. The bill would modify the process by which an individual can pursue civil action against the owner or operator of a public accommodation where an architectural barrier limits access. H.R. 620 also would direct the federal Judiciary to develop a model program encouraging alternative mediation to resolve claims of architectural barriers to public accommodations.
Based on an analysis of information from the DOJ and assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that the DOJ program would cost about $2 million in 2018 and $4 million each year thereafter. About half of those costs would be for additional personnel and specialists in accessibility issues and half for other costs to train state and local officials and private property owners. Over the 2018-2022 period CBO estimates that implementing the program would cost $18 million.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, implementing the bill could lead to a decrease in the number of cases that are filed and fully litigated. CBO estimates that any savings associated with those changes would offset costs associated with the model program for alternative mediation.
Enacting H.R. 620 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 620 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
H.R. 620 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.