Austin, Texas
                    FISCAL NOTE, 77th Regular Session
                               May 18, 2001
          TO:  Honorable Bill Ratliff, Lieutenant Governor,  Senate
        FROM:  John Keel, Director, Legislative Budget Board
       IN RE:  SB7  by Ellis, Rodney (relating to the period during
               which a person arrested is required to be taken before a
               magistrate and to the appointment and compensation of
               counsel to represent indigent persons accused of
               crime.), As Passed 2nd House
*  Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for    *
*  SB7, As Passed 2nd House:  negative impact of $(19,829,000)           *
*  through the biennium ending August 31, 2003.                          *
*                                                                        *
*  The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal      *
*  basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of    *
*  the bill.                                                             *
*                                                                        *
*  The fiscal implications in the following table assume an effective    *
*  date of January 1, 2002.                                              *
General Revenue-Related Funds, Five-Year Impact:
          *  Fiscal Year  Probable Net Positive/(Negative)   *
          *               Impact to General Revenue Related  *
          *                             Funds                *
          *       2002                         $(7,889,000)  *
          *       2003                         (11,940,000)  *
          *       2004                         (12,047,000)  *
          *       2005                         (12,154,000)  *
          *       2006                         (12,262,000)  *
All Funds, Five-Year Impact:
*Fiscal      Probable        Probable        Probable       Change in     *
* Year       Revenue         Revenue      Savings/(Cost) Number of State  *
*          Gain/(Loss)     Gain/(Loss)       from New     Employees from  *
*          from General      from New    General Revenue     FY 2001      *
*          Revenue Fund  General Revenue   Dedicated -                    *
*              0001        Dedicated -     Fair Defense                   *
*                          Fair Defense      Account                      *
*                            Account                                      *
*  2002      $(7,889,000)      $7,889,000      $(649,600)             5.0 *
*  2003      (11,940,000)      11,940,000       (785,500)             5.0 *
*  2004      (12,047,000)      12,047,000       (522,900)             5.0 *
*  2005      (12,154,000)      12,154,000       (522,900)             5.0 *
*  2006      (12,262,000)      12,262,000       (522,900)             5.0 *
Technology Impact
The Office of Court Administration indicates that it would outsource
database programming and maintenance associated with the new program.
This estimate assumes that the database will be consistent with exisiting
plans to develop electronic reporting on the part of counties.  This
estimate assumes that the start-up costs of outsourcing database
programming and maintenance would be $378,079 annually in fiscal years
2002 and 2003 and that costs for this professional service would cost
$110,000 each year thereafter.
Fiscal Analysis
The bill would establish statewide guidelines for appointing legal
counsel for indigent defendants.  The bill would also establish a
standing committee, the Task Force on Indigent Defense (TFID), within the
Texas Judicial Council.  The TFID would be composed of 12 members who
meet at least quarterly.  The TFID would enforce and develop standards;
and, compile and report information regarding indigent defense.  The TFID
would also award grants to eligible counties and monitor and enforce
grant provisions.  The Comptroller's Office would issue warrants for
grant amounts to counties identified by the TFID.

The bill would also amend Article 102.075(h) of the Code of Criminal
Procedure to create a new Fair Defense Account.  General Revenue Funds
that currently go to the treasury would be dedicated to the Fair Defense
Account, which would be designated as the appropriation source for TFID.
This estimate assumes that the Texas Judicial Council would need an
additional five full-time equivalent positions to provide staff to the
TFID and that office space for the additional staff would be in a
state-owned building.  New personnel would include three administrative
staff, a program director who was also an attorney, and an accountant who
could also serve as a grant administrator.  Travel expenses for TFID
members and staff, in addition to expenses for an annual report are
included in the estimate.  The estimate includes operating expenses for
TFID only and has not included any grant awards that it is assumed could
be made out of the balance of the Fair Defense Account.
Local Government Impact
Provisions of SECTION 11 of the bill would increase reporting
responsibilities of county auditors, county clerks, and district clerks.
According to the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), large counties
could absorb the costs of the additional reporting requirements added in
Section 71.0351 of the Government Code; however, 131 of the state's 254
counties would probably require adding a part-time position to track,
accumulate, and report the required data.  TAC estimates the additional
part-time staff would cost a county $17,800 annually for salary,
benefits, and overhead.  Local judges trying juvenile cases would also
need to establish guidelines for appointment of counsel to minors.  This
estimate assumes that these new duties could be absorbed in the courts'
current budgets.

The estimate assumes the Task Force on Indigent Defense created under
SECTION 13 provisions of the bill would provide services to counties at
no cost for technical assistance.  Additionally, the Task Force could
award grants to counties for the purposes of expanding indigent defense
services in the county.  However, under provisions of the bill counties
may not reduce the amount of funds provided for indigent defense because
of funds provided by the task force.
Source Agencies:   304   Comptroller of Public Accounts, 212   Office of
                   Court Administration
LBB Staff:         JK, JC, TB