The Joint Finance Committee approved $38.4 million in general purpose revenue to boost pay for prosecutors and public defenders while adding 26.5 positions in district attorney offices across the state.
The bulk of that money -- $25.7 million -- would increase the rate paid to private attorneys who act as public defenders. Meanwhile, $3.6 million of it would go to helping counties cover the costs of attorneys appointed by circuit courts to represent the indigent.
The GOP motion was approved 12-4 along party lines.
The State Public Defenders Office has long sought an increase in the private bar...