S.F. No. 1027 authorizes counties to withdraw from the statewide public defense system for a two-year period. A withdrawing county must agree to provide all court-ordered representation of indigent persons in the county that would otherwise under statute or appellate decision be provided by a public defender. The county would be responsible for all costs associated with the representation of these offenders and would receive a portion of the state district public defense appropriation to the State Board of Public Defense.
Section 1, subdivision 1, authorizes a county or group of contiguous counties to withdraw from the statewide public defense system.
Subdivision 2 provides that the withdrawal would be effective for a two-year period coinciding with the state's biennial budget cycle. Authorizes the withdrawal to be renewed for additional two-year periods and requires notice to the State Board of Public Defense and the Commissioner of Management and Budget.
Subdivision 3 requires withdrawing counties to agree to provide all court-ordered representation of indigent persons in the county that would otherwise under statute or appellate decision be provided by a public defender for the entire two-year period. Provides that the withdrawing county is responsible for all costs associated with this representation. Requires that a withdrawing county contract with attorneys to provide the required legal representation and provides that these attorneys are not considered state or county employees.
Subdivision 4 requires a withdrawing county to form an advisory board to develop a comprehensive plan for the provision of court-ordered representation of indigent persons. Describes the makeup of the board.
Subdivision 5 requires the State Board of Public Defense to transfer an amount representing a withdrawing county's share of the total state appropriation to the Board for district public defense based on an as of yet unspecified percentage basis.
Subdivision 6 requires the chief appellate public defender to continue to represent indigent offenders in appeals or postconviction proceedings even though a county withdraws from the statewide system under this bill.
Subdivision 7 requires the Commissioner of Management and Budget to oversee the transfer of state funds under subdivision 5 and resolve any disputes between a county and the State Board of Public Defense relating to a transfer.
Subdivision 8 requires an annual report to the Legislature detailing the withdrawal of counties from the state public defense system under this bill.
Subdivision 9 requires a report to the Legislature every other year from the State Board of Public Defense recommending changes to the county reimbursement formula contained in subdivision 5.