The Champion

January /February 2007 , Page 57 

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A Look Ahead at 2007

By Malia Brink

Read more Indigent Defense columns.

Indigent defense reform is on the list of issues a number of legislatures will address in the coming sessions. Below is a look across the country at some of the reform proposals that we expect to be introduced this year. If you know of other proposed legislation that affects indigent defense, be sure to let us know about it.

Federal

With the Democrats coming in as the majority, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is expected to revive a bill that would grant student loan relief to public defenders and prosecutors. The Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act, as currently drafted, would provide federal funds to pay up to $10,000 a year of the law school loans of public sector lawyers working in criminal justice. 

Alabama

A bill to reinstate overhead payments to court-appointed counsel is expected. Lawyers used to receive hourly overhead payments in addition to rate pay, after an Alabama Supreme Court decision ruled that such payments were required. The payments stopped, h

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