Monday, March 17, 2014

Breaking: AZ Senate to consider its own budget proposal Tuesday

News broke earlier tonight that the president of the Arizona State Senate, Andy Biggs, has released his own budget proposal that will be considered (and presumably rubber stamped along party lines) by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday (2 p.m., SHR109).

The bills are numbered SB1485 thru SB1493.

The notice is too short to do a full analysis here (or pretty much anywhere else, which is kind of the reason for the short notice), but the legislative analysis of SB1490, the criminal justice budget reconciliation bill, contains information that may indicate the nature of Biggs' budget -
10.  Prohibits the total amount that may be spent in a fiscal year by the state for indigent capital defense in a state PCR proceeding from exceeding the amount appropriated in the General Appropriations Act for that purpose, together with additional amounts appropriated by any special legislative appropriation for indigent capital defense.

[snip]

14.  Allows the AG to use monies in the State Aid to Indigent Defense Fund for activities related to capital postconviction prosecution.

...Surprised Biggs doesn't have a clause requiring capital defendants to win the Publishers Clearinghouse grand prize before they are allowed to mount a defense against capital charges...

3 comments:

Phoenix Justice said...

Would this even be constitutional?

cpmaz said...

If you are asking about redirecting funds from the defense of indigent defendant to pay for their continued prosecution, I hope not, but I really don't know (I'm not a lawyer).

If you are asking about passing a budget with virtually no public notice or input, well, they've done it before. Many times.

Phoenix Justice said...

Yeah, I don't think its constitutional to not only limit the pool for indigent cases, but then to allow the State to dip into that pool for further prosecution.

Wouldn't mind hearing from a constitutional scholar or lawyer.