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SB 316 prioritizes the public defender over other counsel. By using “shall” vs “may appoint” public defender’s office, this bill directs the court to make use of this governmental program over other counsel. However, this bill also allows other counsel to be appointed, if the county has a managed assigned counsel program or if the court has another reason to appoint different counsel.
No changes have been made to this bill in House committee. The second chamber sponsor is Rep. Jeff Leach.
First chamber recommendation:
SB 316 encourages counties to use the public defender’s office over other county programs that have been developed. However, this bill continues to allow the court's to have local discretion, to find their own solutions to address legal representation. Therefore, we support this bill for preserving individual liberty and limiting big government from trying to solve local matters.