Commissioners to discuss the future of indigent defense funding
The state could soon decide to provide more funding
[Tiffin, OH June 11, 2019] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners is to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at its office, 111 Madison St.
During the meeting, the board is to discuss potential changes to indigent defense funding.
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio and several boards of county commissioners across the state have requested state officials to provide additional funding for the legal defense of those who cannot provide it for themselves.
The commissioners are to consider a resolution from CCAO that lends support to the notion.
Gov. Mike DeWine’s introduced budget (House Bill 166) added $60 million to the budget in 2020 and 2021 for indigent defense reimbursement to counties, while the Ohio House also added $35 million in funding for 2021. CCAO officials state these funding increases should fully fund indigent defense reimbursement to counties, assuming financial conditions remain constant.
The resolution to be considered by the board Thursday would thank the governor’s office and the Ohio House for agreeing to make these investments, while also encouraging state senators to retain the changes in the budget.
The state reimbursement rate to counties for indigent defense costs has averaged about 35 percent from 2007-2016, leaving counties to spend tens of millions in general revenue funds to fulfill the state mandate of providing indigent defense.
If the changes are approved in the state budget, funds could be freed up for use in other areas in the county. The change could help counties, by offsetting the reduction of the Local Government Fund and the elimination of the Medicaid Managed Care sales tax and tangible personal property tax.
During resolutions, the board is to consider:
* A $62,373.50 supplemental appropriation to the JRIG Grant, PIVOT Fund for contract services.
* The Fiscal Year 2019-2021 Subsidy Reclaim Grant application.
* A contract with Kelley Gorry, of Rich Gillis Law Group, LLC, for legal services on behalf of the Seneca County Board of Revisions.
* A 2019-2020 technical/specialized counseling agreement with Local Government Services, LLC, on behalf of the Seneca County Auditor.
* Setting time, date and place to receive sealed bids for the Taxiway Rehabilitation Project at the Seneca County Airport.