Mary Alice Reporting – A bill aims to recruit and retain defense attorneys by creating a state loan repayment program.

House Bill 5 is currently in committee for review with 98th District Representative Brett Hillyer a co-sponsor for the legislation.

He notes the problem across Ohio relates to public defenders coming out of law school, working with an office, and then leaving shortly after to better-paying jobs.

“The plane would be to add about 10% to the roles of public defenders, which would be about 60 defenders. That would allow a significant investment in areas deemed as lacking by the state public defender.”

Hillyer says that each county is the decider in terms of defense attorney repayment.

“Tuscarawas County pays a significant portion for the cost of public defenders. The state pays an additional portion.”

He commends the work defenders do to ensure those accused of a crime are being represented fairly and their rights are being protected.

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