The one-time increase requires the commission to provide the Senate president and speaker of the House a written report detailing how it will use the $10 million to resolve the shortage of court-provided attorneys.

The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Emergency Board committee approved the allocation of $10 million in general funds toward the Public Defense Service Commission, which continues to struggle with an “unprecedented” crisis.

The one-time increase requires the commission to provide the Senate president and speaker of the House a written report detailing how it will use the $10 million to resolve the shortage of court-provided attorneys. It also directs the commission to report on the crisis to the Join Committee on Ways on Means no later than Jan. 31.

The Associated Press in November reported on the ongoing critical shortage of court-provided attorneys for low-income defendants.

The state is relying on 31% of the public defenders needed to run effectively, according to an American Bar Association report from January. At least 700 people were without legal representation, according to the Associated Press and nearly 300 cases had been dismissed at the time in Multnomah County alone due to the shortage.



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