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Published on Friday, March 7, 2014

Bill funding indigent defense passes Senate

E2SSB 6249 passed the Senate this week. We would like to thank Sen. Bruce Dammeier (R-Puyallup) for his leadership on this bill. He put a tremendous amount of effort into seeing this bill through the Senate. We also want to thank Sen. Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) and Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle) for their work and cooperation on the bill. The bill now moves to the House where we know it will face opposition.

AWC sent out an Action Alert encouraging cities to contact member of the House to ask them to support the bill. We know that members of the House have concerns about the potential impact of the bill on indigent defendants. The bill raises three fees and there are concerns that those increased costs would negatively impact already indigent defendants. However, judges may still and often do waive fees for indigent persons.

E2SSB 6249 establishes three increases to specific fees to offset costs for new public defense caseload limits.

  • Increases criminal conviction fee under RCW 3.62.085 from $43 to $55.
  • Allows cities to increase warrant service costs under RCW 10.01.160 from $100 to $175.
  • Allows cities to increase probation service costs under RCW 10.64.120 from $100 per month to $150 per month.
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