Archaic. Inefficient. Without Transparency.
These are the words used to describe the structure Alabama currently uses to fund its judicial system, according to a 2014 study by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.
Court funding is a complex issue that we explain in our latest post on the SPLC Action blog, but the bottom line is this: our courts should be funded by public tax-dollars via the state budget, not through fees and fines paid by those caught in our justice system.
The first steps to reform are more transparency and an analysis on the process of court costs. House Bill 499 would ensure both come to pass. From the SPLC Action Blog:
In 2020, four bills passed that created or increased fees allowed to be charged in three counties. Those bills could increase user fees by nearly half a million dollars in 2021. Three more bills introduced in the 2021 session could increase fees by $600,000 per year.
We should not be balancing the state budget on the backs of Alabamians pulled into the court system. With your help we can take the first steps towards bringing Alabamians some relief from these regressive fees.
Thank you, as always, for your support.