AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND TO EXPAND ELIGIBILITY FOR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE FELLOWS PROGRAM.
Appropriates $8,677,844 in in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the 2021-2022 fiscal year to be used as follows:
(1) $1,000,000 to hire eight additional criminal appellate attorneys;
(2) $663,579 for costs associated with the Criminal Justice Fellows Program (Fellowship) (GS 17C-21);
(3) $3.1 million to cover a recurring shortfall in the DOJ budget;
(4) $1.4 million to hire 10 additional attorneys to handle DOJ’s civil caseload;
(5) $158,265 to hire one additional Certification Specialist/Investigator I to assist the North Carolina Sheriff’s Standards Commission with implementing the requirements of GS 17E-7(c2) (requiring compliance with standards for municipal police agency telecommunicators);
(6) $156,000 to hire one Networking Security Officer to protects critical data in the possession of DOJ; and
(7) $2.2 million to cover a shortfall in the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission (Commission) resulting from COVID-19.
Amends GS 7A-304(a) (court costs in criminal cases) by:
(1) Eliminating the $3 court fee assessed in criminal cases and remitted to DOJ for the Commission;
(2) Increasing court costs in criminal cases by $3 resulting in costs of $150.50 in district court and $157.50 in superior court; and
(3) Setting the court fee for a person with a first appearance in district court and a felony conviction in superior court to $305.
Repeals GS 17C-20(5) (Commission, definition of “eligible county”)
Amends GS 17C-22 (establishing the Fellowship) by making conforming changes to remove references to the term “eligible county.”
Amends GS 17C-23(b) (Commission, Forgiveness of Fellowship loans) by making conforming changes to remove references to the term “eligible county”.
Effective July 1, 2021, and applies to court costs assess on or after that date and applications for the Fellowship received on or after that date.