Governor Perdue Announces Agreement on Indigent Defense Legislation
|Thursday, April 29, 2004||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Legislation is Focus of Special Session Call
Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today an agreement on the Indigent Defense legislation to ensure a five-day special session to balance the FY05 budget.
"This agreement was developed through good faith negotiations with Speaker Coleman and Chief Justice Fletcher," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "We agreed that all three branches of Georgia government are going to live within our means just as Georgia families do. All involved hope that this agreement leads to the shortest, least expensive special session - five days."
"In my cordial meeting with the Governor, he reaffirmed his commitment to indigent defense, and I pledged my resolve to have the Judicial Branch be prudent in its use of the state's financial resources," said Chief Justice Norman Fletcher. "I assured the Governor that the budgets submitted by the Judicial Branch will appropriately reflect the overall financial condition of the state."
The following are the major points of the agreement:
- The amount of money the Defenders Council may seek in its annual budget request will be capped to the amount of fees collected in the previous year.
- The Governor will be provided with an early review of the Defenders Council budget before it is finalized by the judicial branch. After the budget is finalized and incorporated as a part of the judicial branch budget, the Governor may comment further on the final version in his budget report to the General Assembly.
- It strikes a delicate balance in appointments to a newly created legislative oversight committee; Speaker of the House appoints three members, Senate Committee on Assignments appoints three members, and the Governor appoints one member from the House and Senate respectively.