Updated county budget includes pay increase for indigent defense attorneys
Vancouver, Wash. – The Clark County Council this week adopted its spring supplemental budget which updates the 2019 budget originally adopted in December 2018.
The updated budget includes a 10 percent increase in pay for indigent defense attorneys contracted by the county to represent felony defendants who cannot afford attorneys. The increase goes into effect July 1 and will cost $179,275 for the remainder of 2019. The current rates for indigent defense attorneys have not been increased since 2009.
County Manager Shawn Henessee noted that the county has sufficient General Fund balance to cover the increase. The General Fund is the county’s largest fund and serves as the primary operating fund.
Henessee recommended approval of 76 budget requests received from county departments. The requests related to: maintaining service levels, infrastructure upkeep, revenue forecast updates, budget interventions and items with no impact on fund balance such as grants and technical adjustments.
Included in the supplemental was $834,665 in General Fund savings realized as a result of thorough reviews of departmental budgets. “It’s important that we be good stewards and be as efficient as we can with county funds,” said Henessee.
The net impact of the updated budget to all county funds is more than $3.7 million for 2019 and $13.2 million for 2020. The total 2019 adopted county budget is $520 million. The General Fund accounts for 33 percent or almost $170 million. The Road Fund has the second largest budget at $89.2 million.
For more information on the county budget, go to https://www.clark.wa.gov/budget/2019-budget.
County Manager's Office