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Bill with potential for major positive fiscal impact on county jail budgets discussed in committee today

Kayla Carter, Research Associate
HB 211 was heard for discussion only today during the House Standing Committee on Local Government.

HB 211, sponsored by Rep. Michael Meredith, would require the State Treasury to reimburse counties when inmates convicted of a felony receive credit for time served in the county jail pre-trial. This bill would have a substantial and positive fiscal impact on all 120 counties, including counties with a closed jail.

County jails that house state inmates convicted of felonies receive $31.34 per day - a rate that has remained the same since 2008.

Currently, counties do not receive a per diem reimbursement for state inmates until the day they are sentenced for a felony. State inmates may receive sentencing credit for the time served in the county jail prior to adjudication, but the county is not reimbursed for this time. This bill would change this policy and ensure the state pays their fair share for state inmates

Committee members commended Rep.Meredith for sponsoring this bill, noting the significant impact it would have on every county. The cost counties bear for housing pre-trial state inmates, who later receive credit for time served, is massive with estimates exceeding $70 million.

Rep. Meredith said he is waiting on the Department of Corrections to confirm the estimated fiscal impact to the state before bringing HB 211 to a vote in the committee

Increased jail funding is a top KACo priority. KACo supports HB 211 and encourages members to reach out to their legislators in support of this bill.

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