Support Bill Funding Court Safety

February 27, 2018

VACo supports SB 827 (Howell), which allows localities to increase assessments made on defendants convicted of violating a statute or ordinance from $10 to up to $20. Revenue from the assessment shall be used for funding courthouse security personnel and, at the request of the Sheriff, other security-related equipment and property. The bill reported out of the House Courts of Justice Committee, 16-2, and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill will probably be heard, Thursday, March 1, in the House Appropriations Committee’s Public Safety Subcommittee.

KEY POINTS

  • Increasing the cap on fees related to criminal or traffic cases helps localities fund certain security needs.
  • The fee hasn’t been raised in 10 years.
  • The Compensation Board security staffing standard for courtroom and courthouse security is 2 deputies in circuit court, 1 deputy in general district court, and 1 deputy in juvenile domestic relations court. For FY18, the staffing standard is underfunded by 124 court services deputies with an annualized cost of $4,305,634 across localities.

KEY CONTACTS

House Appropriations Committee’s Public Safety Subcommittee: Knight (Chairman), Peace, Garrett, Rush, Head, McQuinn, Tyler, Krizek, Jones, S.C.

VACo Contact: Khaki LaRiviere

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