Date Requested:February 17, 2012
Time Requested:10:55 AM
Agency: Public Defender Services
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2012R1943 Comm. Sub. SB481
CBD Subject: APPOINTED ATTORNEYS IN JUVENILE CASES
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 amended bill proposes increases in the hourly rates paid to attorneys representing children and parents in child abuse and neglect cases under Chapter 49, Article Six of the West Virginia Code.
    
    The amended bill will create additional costs to West Virginia Public Defender Services. In the last fiscal year, WVPDS spent approximately $7,791,810 on combined in-court/out-of-court hourly billings in abuse/neglect cases, at hourly rates of $45/hour for out-of-court work and $65/hour for in-court work.
    
    With the proposed increases in the hourly rates to $75/hour for out-of-court and $95/hour for in-court work, and assuming the same number of hours as FY 2011, WVPDS could see an increase in spending of approximately $4,841,945.

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 4,841,945 4,841,945
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 4,841,945 4,841,945
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 fiscal year 2011 PDS paid court appointed attorneys for approximately 26,445 hours of in-court work and approximately 134,954 hours of out-of-court work in abuse/neglect cases. At the hourly rates of $45 for out-of-court work and $65 for in-court work, PDS paid approximately $7,791,810 for hourly compensation.
    
    Assuming the same number of submitted hours as FY 2011, an increase in the hourly rates to $75/hour for out-of-court and $95/hour for in-court would result in estimated payments of approximately $12,633,755, resulting in an increase of $4,841,945.


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Russell S. Cook
Email Address:
Russell.S.Cook@wv.gov
    While the amended bill represents increased costs to the Agency, PDS supports any and all efforts to increase the hourly rates paid to court appointed attorneys. The current hourly rates were established twenty-two years ago and have not been increased since 1990.