HBA-EDN S.B. 1778 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1778 By: Lucio Criminal Jurisprudence 5/2/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law authorizes county courts to contract with outside vendors for the collection of fines, fees, restitution, and other costs ordered by a court. However, if a vendor collects the money owed to the county, the vendor is paid 30 percent of the money collected. Senate Bill 1778 authorizes county courts, as well as municipal courts, to add a 30 percent increase to any fine, fee, restitution, debt, or cost that is 60 days overdue to ensure that these courts receive all money owed while still allowing the vendor to receive fees. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 1778 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to provide that a commissioners court, that enters into a contract with a public or private vendor for the collection of services for debts and accounts receivable, may authorize the addition of collection fees in the amount of 30 percent on each debt or account receivable that is more than 60 days past due and has been referred to the vendor for collection. The bill provides that a defendant is not liable for such collection fees if the court of original jurisdiction has determined the defendant is indigent, has insufficient resources or income, or is otherwise unable to pay all or part of the underlying fine or costs. S.B. 1778 amends law to provide that the governing body of a municipality or a commissioners court that enters into a collection contract with a public or private vendor may authorize the addition of collection fees as described above. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.