The North Carolina General Assembly has published the list of House and Senate conferees for the 2021 budget. You can find the list here.
If you haven’t already, please contact your representatives and encourage them to support the House version of the proposed budget. The two chambers are going to conference, and things will move quickly, so please call or email today! In addition to your own reps, please look at the list of conferees linked above. See who you might know and reach out to ask them to help.
IDS needs your help.
On Thursday, August 12, the North Carolina House of Representatives adopted a proposed budget that is significantly better for lawyers representing indigent clients than the budget proposed by the state Senate.
The House budget provides an additional $5 million dollars for the private assigned counsel fund, and an increase in the current indigent defense fee from $2 to $5 that would generate another $1.8 million for the PAC. That new fee would not be an increase in court costs, as it replaces a fee that previously went to the Criminal Justice Standards Commission.
While this additional $6.8 million is not enough to restore rates to where they were before 2011, it is the best proposed budget for IDS since that time and will allow the Commission to raise rates.
The next step is for the two chambers to conference to work out their differences.
While we do not yet know who the conferees will be, please contact your elected representatives in both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly as soon as possible to encourage them to support the House version of the budget, and encourage your colleagues, friends, and family to do the same. Let them know how important your work is to the well-being of your community, and how you are doing constitutionally required work for the state of North Carolina for a rate of pay that often barely covers overhead:
Click Here for IDS Budget Talking Points
Thank you, as always, for the work you do for your clients.
Mary S. Pollard
North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services