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  H.B. No. 295
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the provision of funding for indigent defense services.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 79.037(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The commission shall:
               (1)  provide technical support to:
                     (A)  assist counties in improving their systems
  for providing indigent defense services, including indigent
  defense support services [systems]; and
                     (B)  promote compliance by counties with the
  requirements of state law relating to indigent defense;
               (2)  to assist a county in providing or improving the
  provision of indigent defense services in the county, distribute in
  the form of grants any funds appropriated for the purposes of this
  section to one or more of the following entities:
                     (A)  the county;
                     (B)  a law school's legal clinic or program that
  provides indigent defense services in the county; [and]
                     (C)  a regional public defender that meets the
  requirements of Subsection (e) and provides indigent defense
  services in the county; [and]
                     (D)  an entity described by Section 791.013 that
  provides to a county administrative services under an interlocal
  contract entered into for the purpose of providing or improving the
  provision of indigent defense services in the county; and
                     (E)  a nonprofit corporation that provides
  indigent defense services or indigent defense support services in
  the county; and
               (3)  monitor each entity that receives a grant under
  Subdivision (2) and enforce compliance with the conditions of the
  grant, including enforcement by:
                     (A)  withdrawing grant funds; or
                     (B)  requiring reimbursement of grant funds by the
  entity.
         SECTION 2.  Section 79.037(b), Government Code, as amended
  by Chapters 56 (S.B. 1353) and 476 (S.B. 1057), Acts of the 84th
  Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, is reenacted and amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The commission shall determine for each county the
  entity or entities [within the county] that are eligible to receive
  funds for the provision of or improvement in the provision of
  indigent defense services under Subsection (a)(2). The
  determination must be made based on the entity's:
               (1)  compliance with standards adopted by the board;
  and
               (2)  demonstrated commitment to compliance with the
  requirements of state law relating to indigent defense.
         SECTION 3.  Section 79.037(c), Government Code, as amended
  by Chapters 56 (S.B. 1353) and 476 (S.B. 1057), Acts of the 84th
  Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, is reenacted to read as
  follows:
         (c)  The board shall adopt policies to ensure that funds
  under Subsection (a)(2) are allocated and distributed in a fair
  manner.
         SECTION 4.  Section 26.0442(a), Tax Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (a)  In this section, "indigent defense compensation
  expenditures" for a tax year means the difference between:
               (1)  the amount paid by a county in the period beginning
  on July 1 of the tax year preceding the tax year for which the tax is
  adopted and ending on June 30 of the tax year for which the tax is
  adopted to:
                     (A)  provide appointed counsel for indigent
  individuals in criminal or civil proceedings in accordance with the
  schedule of fees adopted under Article 26.05, Code of Criminal
  Procedure; and
                     (B)  fund the operations of a public defender's
  office under Article 26.044, Code of Criminal Procedure; and
               (2)  [, in the period beginning on July 1 of the tax
  year preceding the tax year for which the tax is adopted and ending
  on June 30 of the tax year for which the tax is adopted, less] the
  amount of any state grants received by the county during that period
  for those purposes [the same purpose].
         SECTION 5.  Section 79.037(e), Government Code, as added by
  Chapter 56 (S.B. 1353), Acts of the 84th Legislature, Regular
  Session, 2015, is repealed.
         SECTION 6.  Section 26.0442, Tax Code, as amended by this
  Act, applies to the calculation of the no-new-revenue maintenance
  and operations rate for a county only for a tax year beginning on or
  after January 1, 2022.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 295 was passed by the House on April
  22, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 295 on May 28, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 148, Nays 0, 1
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 295 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 25, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor