Thursday, November 15, 2012

Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate Released: S. 810, Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011

Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan governmental agency responsible for "analy[zing] . . . budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process" issued a cost estimate for, S. 810,Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 25, 2012.  According to the 5-page estimate here,
[t]he Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 would prohibit invasive research on a great ape, as well as the transport or breeding of great apes to be used in such research within and outside of the United States. For great apes that are owned by or are under the control of the federal government, the bill also would require their permanent retirement and lifetime care in a suitable sanctuary. In addition, the bill would establish the Great Ape Sanctuary System Fund to support the construction, renovation, and operation of the sanctuary system. Civil monetary penalties collected as a result of violations of the bill would be used to endow the Great Ape Sanctuary System Fund.
CBO estimates that implementing S. 810 would cost $56 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Because fines may be collected as a result of violations of this legislation, there could be an increase in revenues and direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any effects on revenues and direct spending would be insignificant for each year.
S. 810 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by prohibiting invasive research on great apes, unless authorized by the research task force established in the bill. Based on information from public and private entities, including research institutions, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates would be small and would not exceed the intergovernmental or private-sector thresholds established in UMRA ($73 million and $146 million, respectively, in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation).

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