The Norman Transcript

Editorials

January 29, 2013

DAs seeking more money for offices

NORMAN — Add the state’s district attorneys to the list of agencies asking for bigger state appropriations this legislative session. The 27 district attorneys are asking an overall $7 million boost to their state appropriations.

The DAs are being squeezed because a longtime revenue source for them has dwindled. They used to collect on insufficient fund checks passed to local merchants. A check writer had the option of paying the money back, plus a fee to the DA, and prosecution was stopped.

Because more people pay with credit and debit cards these days, fewer checks are written. Of those that are written, merchants can electronically debit an account, eliminating the payday float of years past.

Additionally, as reported this past Sunday in The Transcript, DAs are losing some offender-paid service fees to private vendors. Judges have the option to send defendants to a for-profit agency that provides supervision.

A chart provided by the state district attorney’s association shows more than half of the DAs’ funding comes from non-appropriated funds. Supervision fees statewide make up about 22 percent of the office budgets. Bogus checks are about 11 percent and declining.

The lobbyist for the District Attorneys Association said it’s a crisis situation. District attorneys, she said, start the day worrying if they’ll have the money to fund prosecutor positions.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014