S. 2961 would authorize the appropriation of $25 million annually over the 2019-2023 period mostly for Department of Justice programs to prevent child abuse and assist victims of such crimes. CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2019 and that the specified amounts will be appropriated each year. Based on historical spending patterns, CBO estimates that implementing S. 2961 would cost $75 million over the 2019-2023 period.
The Congress appropriated $21 million for fiscal year 2018 for the programs authorized by the bill. The costs of the legislation fall within budget function 750 (administration of justice).
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 2961 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
S. 2961 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
S. 2961 would provide liability protections for individuals who make good faith reports of child abuse or neglect. The bill would thus impose a private-sector mandate as defined in UMRA by preventing other entities from bringing liability claims under federal law against those individuals. CBO has no basis to estimate the number of possible lawsuits or related awards that would be precluded by the bill and cannot predict the amount of potential foregone damages. Therefore, CBO cannot determine whether the cost of the mandate would exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($160 million in 2018, adjusted annually for inflation).