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County Supports Gaines Legislation for Indigent Relief

Senator Ted Gaines is sponsoring legislation which will establish a process for counties to secure reimbursement for costs incurred as a result of providing public defender services to indigent persons who are prosecuted by the Attorney General. This bill has been introduced in response to Nevada County’s urgent request for legislative assistance.
Click here to listen to County CFO, Joe Christofel

The astronomical cost regarding a trial of this nature was not anticipated when the County’s budget was planned and approved. As a point of reference the County’s budget in fiscal 2012/13 for all indigent defense cases that occur this year is $487,666. If Lester et al is added to that amount the total costs increase to over 1,000,000 for the year.

County Counsel Alison Barrett Green and Public Defender Don Lown testified in front of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee in Sacramento this past week. A letter of support from Chair Weston on behalf of Nevada County  was sent to Senator Wolk, Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. The committee approved the measure unanimously. The Bill will next be reviewed by the Senate Standing Committee on Public Safety.

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