The 2008 Legislative Session ended with several pieces of legislation affecting public defense in Louisiana. Most specifically, SB 114/Act 2 accelerated the implementation of the Louisiana Public Defender Act by amending an erroneous section of Act 307 and clarifying the employment status of certain employees. The Public Defender Fund suffered $500,000 in budget cuts in HB 1/Act 19.
HB 1/Act 19 (Rep. Fannin): HB 1 provides for the general operating expenses of state government. HB 1/Act 19 provides $28.0 million for public defense in fiscal year 2009.
Direct link: http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=505227
HB 778/Act 297 (Rep. Richmond): Extends for a period of five years (Until August 14, 2014) the period within which to file an application for post-conviction DNA testing.
Direct link: http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=499886
SB 474/Act 861 (Sen. Gray): Provides for the consideration of evidence relative to mental capacity to proceed to trial in criminal cases; modifies the statute with respect to the burden of proof regarding mental capacity determinations; to provide for procedure after determination of mental capacity; and to repeal provisions authorizing the release of a defendant on probation.
Direct link: http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=504659
SB 114/Act 2 (Sen. Martiny): This bill provides for the salary of the State Public Defender and clarifies that executive staff, regional directors, and secretarial, clerical, and other personnel directly employed in the operations of the board shall be state employees. All other personnel employed or who serve under contract in a district office shall not be state employees and shall be considered local employees of the district. The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget may approve other employees hired pursuant to the Louisiana Public Defender Act as state employees upon recommendation of the board.
Direct link: http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=498237