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Relating to the provision of funding for indigent defense services.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 295 would expand the Texas Indigent Defense Commission’s obligations to provide support to counties to include a county’s indigent defense support services. It would clarify the Commission is required to distribute grants both for the establishment and improvement of indigent defense services in a county. HB 295 would also permit the Commission to distribute grants to interlocal organizations established by multiple counties to provide indigent defense services and any nonprofit organization within a county that provides indigent defense services.
Texas Action supports HB 295 because it would bolster the right to an attorney for indigent criminal defendants in the state. Both the United States and Texas constitutions guarantee the right to an attorney in criminal matters. HB 295 would expand the ability of the state indigent defense agency to provide funding to counties to further protect that right.