Date Requested:January 23, 2012
Time Requested:03:48 PM
Agency: Public Defender Services
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2012R1275 Introduced HB4247
CBD Subject: REPRESENTING CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS
FUND(S)
0226
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 bill proposes an increase in the hourly rates paid to court appointed attorneys for work performed in criminal, juvenile, abuse/neglect and other proceedings. These rates have not been increased since 1990.
    
    The bill will create additional costs to WVPDS. Currently, WVPDS spends approximately $25,000,000 annually on payments to court appointed attorneys. Under this bill, the hourly rates would increase by $10/hour for in-court and out-of-court legal work.
    
    Using hourly figures from FY 2011, I estimate a cost increase of approximately $5,000,000 in FY 2013 and similar increases in the two succeeding fiscal years referenced in the bill.

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2012
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2013
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 5,029,340 5,029,340
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 5,029,340 5,029,340
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    In FY 2011, WVPDS paid court appointed attorneys for 75,506 hours of in-court legal representation (at $65/hour) and for 427,428 hours of out-of-court work (at $45/hour), resulting in total payments of $24,142,150.
    
    Assuming the same number of hours, I estimate that if the $45/$65 hourly rates are increased to $55/$75, the total payment figure would rise to approximately $29,171,490 in FY 2013, an increase of $5,029,340.
    
    Because this bill provides for similar $10/hour increases in FY 2014 and FY 2015, I would estimate similar increases of $5,029,340 in each of those years.


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Russell S. Cook
Email Address:
Russell.S.Cook@wv.gov
    Although there are increased costs associated with this bill, WVPDS fully supports the suggested rate increases included within the proposed legislation.
    
    Rates for appointed counsel have not been increased in twenty-two (22) years, having been last increased in 1990 at the direction of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in the case of Jewell v. Maynard, 181 W. Va. 571 (1989).