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Relating to a public defender's investigation into a defendant's finances.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2131 would remove the requirement that a public defender's office report the result of an investigation into the financial condition of a person they represent to the judge and subsequently remove the ability of the judge to hold a hearing to determine, based on these findings, if the defendant in indigent.
Texas Action remains neutral on HB 2131 because it does not affect our liberty principles. To be clear, this bill does not allow any defendant to be appointed counsel at no charge. This bill would merely strengthen attorney-client privilege while keeping in place the county standards for determining indigence for defendants who request appointed counsel.