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Governor Perdue Signs Indigent Defense Legislation

Tuesday, June 15, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA , GA - Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law today House Bill 1EX, the indigent defense legislation passed during the Special Session of the General Assembly.

"First and foremost, this bill fulfilled the General Assembly's constitutional obligation to produce a balanced budget," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "It provides a funding mechanism, primarily through court filing fees, for Georgia 's new Public Defender Standards Council to ensure that we meet our moral responsibility to provide poor defendants with adequate legal representation."

The following are the major provisions of the bill:

  • 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 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.