COLUMBUS - State Representatives Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and David Leland (D-Columbus) today introduced House Bill 5, legislation to create the Public Defender State Loan Repayment Program to help recruit and retain attorneys to serve as public defenders.
“Indigent Defense is a cornerstone of our criminal justice system,” said Rep. Brett Hillyer. “House Bill 5 provides defendants accused of a crime access to competent and seasoned legal counsel by keeping attorneys in the employ of the public defender system.”
The Public Defender State Loan Repayment Program 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.
“This is a commonsense proposal to bring much needed reform to our criminal justice system,” said Rep. David Leland. “No Ohioan should have to go without legal representation simply because they can’t afford it. We owe it to them to keep our promise to make our justice system work for everyone.”
HB 5 will now be assigned to a committee and will await its first hearing.