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A Look Ahead at 2007
By Malia Brink
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.
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.
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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