Austin, Texas
                    FISCAL NOTE, 77th Regular Session
                              March 30, 2001
          TO:  Honorable Kenneth Armbrister, Chair, Senate Committee on
               Criminal Justice
        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.), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
*  Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for    *
*  SB7, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted:  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.                                                             *
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      $(744,123)             5.0 *
*  2003      (11,940,000)      11,940,000       (768,745)             5.0 *
*  2004      (12,047,000)      12,047,000       (500,700)             5.0 *
*  2005      (12,154,000)      12,154,000       (500,700)             5.0 *
*  2006      (12,262,000)      12,262,000       (500,700)             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 existing
plans to develop electronic reporting on the part of counties and with
technologies currently under development regarding data transfer with
the Department of Public Safety.  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 for the Office of
Court Administration and $105,600 in fiscal year 2002 for the Department
of Public Safety.  This estimate assumes outsourcing for this
professional programming services would cost the Office of Court
Administration $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 allocate funds to eligible counties.  The bill would
authorize the Comptroller to distribute funds to eligible counties as
directed by the TFID.  The Comptroller would have the power to monitor
counties for compliance with the terms of distribution.

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 method of finance 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 two administrative
staff, a program manager, and an accountant.  This estimate assumes funds
monitoring duties would be at no additional cost to the Comptroller.
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
Local Government Impact
Provisions of SECTION 11 of the bill would increase reporting
responsibilities of the county clerks, district clerks, and county
auditors. 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 juvenile probation departments
would also need to establish guidelines for appointment of counsel to
minors.  This estimate assumes that these new duties could be absorbed in
the juvenile probation departments current budgets.

The Task Force on Indigent Defense created under SECTION 13 provisions of
the bill would provide minimal savings to counties for technical
assistance services.  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, 405   Texas
                   Department of Public Safety, 212   Office of Court
LBB Staff:         JK, JC, JN, TB