The House Appropriations Committee approved a recommendation during its decision meeting Friday that would continue to have counties pick up the cost of overruns for appointed attorneys to provide pretrial representation before District Court Commissioners. This amendment has been adopted as part of HB 72, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2015.
During the 2014 session, the General Assembly restricted $10 million in the Judiciary’s budget for panel attorneys to provide representation at initial appearances before District Court Commissioners consistent with the Court of Appeals decision in the Richmond case. That language required counties to pay for costs over the $10 million. Although the language was modified slightly by the Committee and a report detailing expenditures for the Appointed Attorney Program for fiscal 2015, counties will still be required to cover any costs over the $10 million.
A previous post on Conduit Street describes the recommendation from the Department of Legislative Services.
For more background, see previous Conduit Street coverage.