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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Leavell
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
1/19/06
HB
SHORT TITLE
New Mexico Sentencing Commission Workload
Study
SB 34
ANALYST Medina
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
$152.0 Non-Recurring
General Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
Relates to a Special Appropriation in the 2005 General Appropriation Act
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Public Defender Department (PDD)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Bill
Senate Bill 34 appropriates $152.0 from the general fund to the New Mexico Sentencing Com-
mission to contract for a workload measurement study of the Public Defender Department, dis-
trict attorneys and state courts. The bill requires that the Sentencing Commission update the
study not less than every five years following completion of the initial study.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
The appropriation of $152.0 contained in this bill is a non-recurring expense to the general fund.
Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2007 shall revert
to the general fund.
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
In FY05 the Supreme Courtís Criminal Justice Task Force directed the Sentencing Commission
to conduct or seek a contractor with whom to collaborate on a comprehensive workload assess-
ment of the adjudication portion of the criminal justice system. The LFC recommended and the
Legislature appropriated $200.0 to the Sentencing Commission as a special appropriation in
pg_0002
Senate Bill 34 Ė Page 2
FY06 to conduct a workload study of the Public Defender Department, district attorneys and the
courts.
According to the Public Defender Department, because this study would be performed by an out-
side entity experienced in this field, the data would be collected in a manner that allows the Leg-
islature to compare New Mexico's funding level with the funding levels of other states. Finally,
because the data would be collected by county and judicial district, the results of the study would
enable each of the agencies to allocate their existing resources in a meaningful manner.
OTHER SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
According to the Public Defender Department, one of the Sentencing Commissionís mandated
purposes is to provide the Legislature with accurate information about proposed changes in state
sentencing statutes, and without meaningful data on the fiscal impact of those proposed changes
the Sentencing Commission cannot make reliable recommendations to the Legislature.
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS
What contributions have the courts, district attorneys and Public Defender Department made to
the study.
Who are the possible contracted third parties that may conduct the study.
DXM/mt