State funding for sheriffs

Sheriffs are in line for more state funding, under a bill that is nearing final legislative passage with support from the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.

Currently, the state pays parish sheriffs $24.39 per day for any state inmates housed in local jails after a final sentence.

House Bill 562 by state Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, would require the state also to reimburse sheriffs for housing people who are arrested for parole violations and awaiting a parole revocation hearing, after they’ve been in the local jail for 14 days.

The rate would be cut in half for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year and set at $20.89 in future years, subject to lawmakers deciding each year if they agree to fund the add-on. Next year’s budget already includes $7 million for the new payments.

Lopinto’s bill, already approved by the House, moves next to the full state Senate for debate.