SB 79 - This act allows county commissions to adopt a resolution to abolish the office of county prosecuting attorney and join a state's attorney system. For counties with a charter form of government, the governing body must adopt a charter amendment to join the system.
State's attorneys are to be elected every four years beginning with the 2018 general election for counties in a judicial circuit that have elected to join the state's attorney system.
The state's attorney must be a resident of the prosecutorial jurisdiction one year before being elected and shall receive the same annual salary as the circuit judge. State's attorneys shall be included in the "Prosecuting Attorneys' and Circuit Attorneys' Retirement Fund" and shall be treated as prosecuting attorneys for such purposes.
State's attorneys shall prosecute all criminal actions for the counties that have chosen to be part of the system. If a change of venue is granted, the state's attorney shall continue to prosecute the case. If a state's attorney is unable to prosecute because of a conflict of interest, the presiding judge shall appoint another state's attorney from an adjoining circuit to serve on that particular matter.
The state's attorneys may appoint assistants, investigators, and clerical staff, and may set their salaries within the limits set by the county commissions. Such salaries shall be paid by the county and the salary of the state's attorney shall be paid by the state, except if a charter county chooses to provide the state's attorney with additional compensation over the statutory amount, the county shall pay such amount.
The salaries, excluding that of the state's attorney, and expenses of the state's attorney offices shall be funded by the respective counties; however, the state shall provide increasing reimbursement of the costs over the course of several years. This act contains the schedule for reimbursement by the state to the counties, ranging from 5 percent in 2019 to 50 percent in 2028 and later years for circuits consisting of one county, and from 10 percent in 2019 to 50 percent in 2023 and later years for circuits consisting of more than one participating county. In circuits where more than one county contributes to the expenses, each county shall be reimbursed in the same proportion as the contribution.
This act requires the state's attorney to be employed full-time and not practice law elsewhere.
No office of the county prosecuting attorney shall cease to exist except upon the election and qualification of a state's attorney for such county in the circuit.
This act is similar to SB 797 (2010) and SB 1256 (2004).