FISCAL NOTE

Date Requested: February 10, 2016
Time Requested: 11:29 AM
Agency: Public Defender Services
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
1361 Introduced HB4272
CBD Subject: Courts


FUND(S):

0226-78800

Sources of Revenue:

General Fund

Legislation creates:

Neither Program nor Fund



Fiscal Note Summary


Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.


     The legislation would increase by thirty dollars ($30) the hourly rates of compensation for: (i) “attorney’s work performed out of court”; (ii) “attorney’s work performed in court”; and (iii)“investigative services.”
    
     The anticipated increase in spending from general revenue would be, annually, $15,072,893.
    



Fiscal Note Detail


Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2016
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2017
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 15,072,893 0
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 15,072,893 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0


Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):


     The hours of reported service by court-appointed counsel in Fiscal Year 2015, including work “performed out of court” and work “performed in court,” were 486,726.40. Public Defender Services, Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2015 (“AR”), p. 212. A thirty dollar ($30) increase would mean additional compensation in the amount of $14,601,792.
    
     The rate of compensation for investigative services is doubled, from thirty dollars ($30) to sixty dollars ($60). In Fiscal Year 2015, the total amount paid for the expenses related to investigative services was $471,101. AR, p. 66. The proposed increase would mean the expenditure from general revenue of the additional amount of $471,101.
    
     The total amount of additional revenue that would be annually expended is, therefore, $15,072,893.
    



Memorandum


     The legislation also increases the maximum amount for an attorney to be compensated in a non-capital case from $3,000 to $6,000. However, the maximum amount is readily exceeded upon a finding of good cause by the appointing court, which, in the agency’s experience, is routinely done. Accordingly, the increase has no impact upon the additional amount to be expended if the legislation were to be enacted.
    
     The legislation also directs that panel attorneys who reach a certain threshold of billing are to be permitted to enroll as insureds in the public employees insurance program. The stated threshold is 1200 hours, which, by the agency's calculations using Fiscal Year 2015 information, would mean potential coverage for 140 individual attorneys. The agency cannot calculate the cost of this coverage to the state.



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Dana F. Eddy, Ex. Dir., Public Defender Services
    Email Address: Dana.F.Eddy@wv.gov