The Idaho Legislature wants to pass off some of the cost of running courts in Idaho to people convicted of crimes and infractions. The Senate approved fees that range from $10 to $100 for offenders found guilty, which should raise $4.3 million for courts.
“It will help to keep our special courts open,” said Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo. Most of the money from the fees will go to courts for drug, mental health, and family issues. Darrington said those special courts keep between 900 and 1,500 people out of prison. “They’ve had an impact on our prison population.”
Felony offenders would pay an additional $100 to courts and misdemeanor offenders $50. Fees for infractions would rise $10, from $75 to $85. “I’m not happy to be increasing the cost of the infractions,” Darrington said. “I think they’re too high now, but we have to make a provision for the courts.” Idaho courts would see a $3.1 million drop in state funding in the next budget, which starts in July, based on a proposal already approved by the Idaho House.