Fund the Legislative Appropriations Request for the Texas Indigent Defense Commission

Policy Background:

The Texas Indigent Defense Commission awards grants and much-needed technical assistance to each of Texas’ 254 counties on issues related to defense systems and models.

Texas policy-makers should appropriate additional state funding to the Commission to help counties offset their high burden to provide defense.  This is essential to supporting county efforts to ensure that the right to counsel is provided to all Texans whose liberty is at stake and who cannot afford representation.

Key Facts:

  • In 2013, Texas counties paid approximately $189.7 million on indigent defense compared to the State’s $27.4 million.[1]  In other words, the State spent only 14 cents on the dollar for every dollar spent by the counties on indigent defense.
  • Since the passage of Texas’ Fair Defense Act in 2001, spending on indigent defense has more than doubled, increasing from $91.4 million (all of which was borne by counties) to $217.1 million in 2013 ($189.7 million of which was borne by counties).[2]  In other words, counties are now spending $98.3 million more than they did in 2001.

Join us in making Texas a smart-on-crime state! Call your legislator and support TCJC today!

Relevant Bills:

Other TCJC Materials:

  • TCJC’s Response to the Texas Indigent Defense Commission's Legislative Appropriations Request for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017

Outside Publications:

[1] Texas Indigent Defense Commission, Legislative Appropriations Request for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017, August 4, 2014, p. 2.

[2] Ibid, p. 7.