© 2023 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WOSU TV is experiencing intermittent issues on Spectrum Cable. Watch the live stream on the free PBS app.

Bill Would Increase Number Of Public Defenders In Ohio

Rep David Leland (D-Columbus) sponsored bill in last General Assembly
Jo Ingles
Rep David Leland (D-Columbus) sponsored bill in last General Assembly

About 70% of people who are facing jail time in Ohio need the services of a public defender. But there’s a shortage of them. Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that its backers say would help.

Democratic Rep David Leland (D-Columbus), an attorney himself, says his bill would increase the number of public defenders by offering student loan relief to lawyers.

“We are going to reimburse that student debt up to $50,000 if they pledge five years of service to be a public defender in an area that is underserved," Leland says.

The same bill unanimously passed the Ohio House in the last General Assembly but didn’t make it through the Senate. Leland’s hoping by passing it in the Ohio House soon, Senators will have time to take it up during this two-year session.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.