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Montana Legislature looks to raid local government revenues & direct money to the Office of Public Defender

An amendment attached to House Bill 2 (the state’s budget bill) provides the legislature the opportunity to reduce local government revenues and divert them to the Office of Public Defender (OPD). OPD is a state agency that has nearly doubled in size since the legislature assumed the program from Montana counties. The Legislative Fiscal Division (LFD) reports that public defender system appropriations in 2007 were $18.6 million. The budget request, including supplemental appropriations for the current biennium, are nearly $40 million for the upcoming biennium.

Members of the Part D Joint Appro...


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