Amendment Watch: Indigent Defense


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According to the weekly newsletter of the County Commissioners’ Association (CCAO), House Republicans have submitted an amendment to the budget that would transfer responsibility for indigent defense from counties to the state.

Today, by Ohio law, counties are responsible for paying the cost of public defenders, and in turn, receive a 50% reimbursement from the state. As CCAO and the amendment sponsors characterizes it, indigent defense is the “largest unfunded mandate that the legislature has imposed upon counties.”

Representatives Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township, Ross McGregor (R-Springfield, Terry Blair (R-Centerville), and Terry Boose (R- Norwalk) are behind the amendment, which would gradually raise the state share of defense by 10% per year, until the state pays the full cost beginning in 2017.

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