Today Royal Oak staff, James Krizan assistant to the city manager, joined League staff in testifying before the Senate Appropriations: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Committee regarding funding recommendations for the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC).
Public Act 93 of 2013 created the MIDC. The MIDC is responsible for establishing minimum standards for indigent criminal defense in the state. Once the MIDC establishes a standard, it’s the responsibility of the funding units of district and circuit courts to create a plan, including costs, for compliance with the new standards. According to PA 93, local units (who are the funding units of district and circuit courts) would not have to implement these plans if funding is not allocated by the state.
In the Governor’s budget recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year it does not provide adequate funding to the MIDC. In addition, recommendations from the State Budget Office to amend the MIDC Act would pass state mandated costs onto local funding units, specifically:
- Establishing a minimum local share of indigent defense systems of $7.25 per capita; and
- Requiring that 90 percent of the revenue collected from partially indigent defendants be remitted to the state.
The requested change to the local share formula will create a huge cost burden to our communities. The League will continue work on this issue and provide updates as they become available.
Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.