COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 5, legislation that creates the Public Defender State Loan Repayment Program to help recruit and retain attorneys to serve as public defenders.

The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and David Leland (D-Columbus), is similar to what Ohio already does to help encourage physicians, dentists and dental hygienists to serve in areas facing a shortage of those professionals.

“Public defenders are vital to our justice system,” said Speaker Householder. “This bipartisan legislation will help attract more attorneys to serve as public defenders in Ohio and help fill the shortage in our legal system.”

House Bill 5 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.

‘Public Defenders protect our constitutional rights everyday whether you have been accused of a crime or not,” said Rep. Hillyer. “These defenders of the Constitution are important to our system of justice and we must ensure that we provide adequate legal services under the law.”

HB 5 passed the Ohio House with 92 affirmative votes and 2 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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