2006 Session

Budget Amendments - SB30 (Committee Approved)

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Criminal Fund - Court Appointed Counsel Fees

Item 32 #3s

Item 32 #3s

First Year - FY2007 Second Year - FY2008
Judicial Department
Circuit Courts FY2007 $1,420,400 FY2008 $343,800 GF

Page 19, line 2, strike "$85,719,167" and insert "$87,139,567".
Page 19, line 2, strike "$86,969,167" and insert "$87,312,967".
Page 21, following line 7, insert:
"H. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the caps on payments to court-appointed attorneys in criminal cases pursuant to Section 19.2-163 of the Code of Virginia be removed effective July 1, 2007, and that the Supreme Court of Virginia be directed to prepare a report on steps required to provide appropriate representation in such cases.  The report shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations for establishing appropriate hourly rates, or for setting fixed amounts in specific types of cases, which may be exceeded by up to ten percent at the discretion of the court, along with recommended criteria for use by the court in determining when those fixed amounts may be exceeded by more than ten percent.  The report shall also consider whether it would be cost effective to expand the availability of public defenders to handle a greater proportion of the total caseload of indigent defendants in criminal cases in Virginia.  The Indigent Defense Commission is directed to cooperate with this study as necessary.  Copies of the report shall be provided to the Governor and to the General Assembly by September 15, 2006."

(This amendment provides $1,420,400 the first year and $343,800 the second year from the general fund to fully fund court-appointed attorney fees for indigent clients in criminal cases, up to the caps as specified in Section 19.2-163, Code of Virginia. The amounts in this amendment represent the additional funds required above the amounts already included in the budget as introduced, to fully fund the existing caps. This amendment also directs the Supreme Court of Virginia, with the assistance of the Indigent Defense Commission, to prepare a report on steps necessary to remove the caps on payments to court-appointed counsel and to provide appropriate representation to indigent defendants in criminal cases.)