TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Josie Beets on Feb 26, 2015

A provision that says any increase in local funding for a district attorney must also include funding for the public defender would be eliminated in a new bill, SB 1324/HB 241, that is set to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The TBA opposes this bill. "Equity in funding for indigent representation has been a feature of the public defense program since the TBA fostered the program in 1989," said TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur. "Our adversarial system of justice demands nothing less." Shelby County Public Defender Stephen Bush said today in a Commercial Appeal guest column that he also opposes the bill, and that it represents a "one-dimensional response" to the funding challenges faced by district attorneys. According to the District Public Defenders Conference, county appropriated funding under this provision represents $12.3 million and employs 141 Tennesseans. Send a message to the Senate Judiciary Committee about your thoughts regarding this legislation using TBAImpact.