Amendments Extend Pretrial Grant Program, Add Conditions

Jail Money - Pixabay - 3.10.20A bill that initially raised great concern and opposition from counties, has been amended to address those concerns. It is now on the move.

HB 82 – Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Reimbursement of Special Condition Costs has passed second reading on the House floor with amendments.

As introduced HB 82 – Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Reimbursement of Special Condition Costs (crossfile SB 679) broadly and unreasonably requires counties to reimburse defendants who receive a not guilty disposition for the costs of pretrial conditions that have been imposed upon them by the courts. While the intention of HB 82 may be to address costs incurred by defendants, the bill may have unintended consequences that may disincentivize pretrial programs and subsequently harm the very defendants it intends to help.

The amendments strike the original bill language in its entirety and add new language extending the Pretrial Grant Program, which was set to abrogate in 2023, by 5 additional years to 2028. This was an amendment requested by MACo to help counties with mounting requirements on pretrial programs. The amendments also prohibit a pretrial program that receives the grant from charging defendants fees for participation in the pretrial program.

The crossfile SB 679 was heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday. The bill sponsor submitted amendments to mirror it the House bill.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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