Governor Charles D. Baker's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2017

Outside Section 21



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Study of Public Counsel Services

SECTION 21.   The secretary of administration and finance or a designee, in consultation with the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means or their designees, the chief justice of the trial court or a designee, and a designee of the Committee for Public Counsel Services shall develop a set of recommended reforms to reduce aggregate expenditures on items 0321-1500, 0321-1504, 0321-1510, and 0321-1520 during fiscal year 2017. The secretary shall retain an independent consultant with demonstrated experience in evaluating measures of the workload of, services offered by, standards applicable to and the management and administration of, attorneys providing public counsel services. The Committee for Public Counsel Services shall promptly provide all information, data, and technical or other assistance requested by the secretary or the independent consultant. The study shall be funded by item 1599-2016.
The secretary shall submit a report detailing, without limitation: the set of recommended reforms, clearly defined goals and metrics for the number and types of cases to be staffed by public defenders, alternatives to hourly compensation for private counsel at a statutory rate, recommendations on strategies to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of taxpayer dollars and any other recommendations to promote efficiency and effectiveness within the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The report shall be filed with the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than November 1, 2016.
 
 

Summary:
This section requires the Secretary of Administration and Finance to consult with designees of the Legislature and courts and then, by November 1, 2016, report on a set of recommended reforms to reduce spending on public counsel services and promote efficiency and effectiveness within the Committee for Public Counsel Services.



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