LD 1625 LR 826(01)
An Act to Update Criminal Indictment Procedures and Expand the Provision of Counsel to Certain Indigent Defendants
Preliminary Fiscal Impact Statement for Original Bill
Sponsor: Sen. Beebe-Center of Knox
Committee: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
Preliminary Fiscal Impact Statement
FY 2023-24 FY 2024-25 Projections  FY 2025-26 Projections  FY 2026-27
Net Cost (Savings)
General Fund $21,000 $28,000 $28,000 $28,000
General Fund $21,000 $28,000 $28,000 $28,000
Fiscal Detail and Notes
This bill expands the requirement that a court assign defense counsel to an accused indigent person to include a person charged with a Class D or Class E offense who is at risk of imprisonment if convicted and those who either have a disability preventing them from fairly participating in the criminal proceeding without counsel or who are noncitizens for whom the criminal proceeding poses a risk of adverse immigration consequences.

The Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services will require ongoing General Fund appropriations of $21,000 in fiscal year 2023-24 and $28,000 in fiscal year 2024-25 and subsequent years to reimburse counsel assigned to persons under these expanded requirements. The fiscal estimate relies on available data on rates of poverty, disability, and noncitizens in the state population, court caseloads and per case costs of indigent legal services for nonfelony cases. It also takes into account that the court presently assigns defense counsel for individuals covered by the requirements in many cases. The estimate assumes an effective date of October 1, 2023.