LD 478 LR 850(03)
An Act To Establish a Fund To Compensate Unjustly Incarcerated Persons
Fiscal Note for Bill as Amended by Committee Amendment " "
Committee: Judiciary
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
Fiscal Note
Potential current biennium cost increase - General Fund
FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23 Projections  FY 2023-24 Projections  FY 2024-25
Other Special Revenue Funds $500 $500 $500 $500
Fiscal Detail and Notes
Currently, an individual must be pardoned in order to be considered for compensation for being wrongly incarcerated and a maximum compensation of $300,000 is paid from the General Fund. This bill establishes a new process, providing $50,000 for each year of imprisonment and $10,000 for each year served as a registered sex offender, limited to $500,000. This total would be an additional $200,000 per person compared with current law. 
Any compensation is paid from the newly established Unjustly Incarcerated Persons Compensation Fund, which will be funded by amounts authorized to be transferred by the Legislature from the unappropriated surplus of the General Fund. The total additional cost to the General Fund will depend on the number of unjustly incarcerated people who apply for compensation and the amount each is entitled to receive. The bill includes Other Special Revenue Funds allocations of $500 beginning in fiscal year 2021-22 to the Department of Financial and Administrative Services to establish and keep active the Unjustly Incarcerated Persons Fund.
The bill also requires a person seeking compensation to file a claim in District Court. This will increase the number of civil suits filed in the court system. There is currently a $300 fee for jury trials, which is split between the General Fund ($273) and the Civil Legal Services Fund ($27).