2007 Session

Budget Amendments - SB750 (Committee Approved)

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Court-Appointed Counsel Fees (language only)

Item 25 #3s

Item 25 #3s

Judicial Department
Supreme Court
Supreme Court FY2007 0.00 FY2008 2.00 FTE

Page 20, line 37, after "C.", insert "1."
Page 20, line 46, after "Secretary.", strike the rest of the line.
Page 20, strike line 47.
Page 20, line 48, strike "electronic voucher.".
Page 20, line 49, after "Item", insert: "up to".
Page 20, line 51, after "waivers.", insert:
"Out of this amount, the Executive Secretary may use (i) up to $100,000 the second year to hire additional personnel to assist in processing waiver requests, and (ii) up to $350,000 for development of information systems to strengthen financial management of the court-appointed attorney compensation system, including accounting for compensation of court-appointed counsel on the basis of cases as well as charges."
Page 21, after line 3, insert:
"2.  In the event that counsel for a defendant who is convicted receives a waiver of the limitations on compensation, the court shall assess against the defendant, as a part of the costs of prosecution, an amount equal to the compensation limit specified in § 19.2-163, Code of Virginia, for each charge for which the defendant was convicted.  If collected, such amount shall be paid to the Commonwealth.
3. Prior to the 2008 Session of the General Assembly, the Executive Secretary shall provide a report to the Chairmen of the Senate and House Courts of Justice Committees and to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees on: (i)  the utilization of waivers; (ii) progress towards improved reporting of fee payments to court-appointed counsel on the basis of cases; and (iii) an updated comparison of Virginia's payments for court-appointed counsel with the level of payments of other states on a standard basis."

(This amendment makes several changes and clarifications in the language authorizing the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court to waive the limit on compensation of court-appointed counsel. The Supreme Court will not be able to process electronic vouchers until 2008, so this amendment eliminates the requirement for court appointed counsel to submit waiver request vouchers via electronic voucher. In order to accommodate the additional workload created by the receipt of waiver requests, the amendment authorizes the Executive Secretary to use up to $150,000 to hire additional staff to process waiver requests. Current law requires convicted defendants to reimburse the Commonwealth for any costs incurred by the state for court-appointed attorneys, up to the limit set out in statute. This amendment continues this requirement for those convicted defendants whose attorneys receive waivers. This amendment also permits the Executive Secretary to use up to $350,000 for improved financial management and reporting systems, and requires a report prior to the 2008 Session of the General Assembly.)