Marcy’s Law one challenge for county budget decisions
By Annette Tait
The Oliver County Commission is not alone in facing budget challenges. Counties throughout the state are trying to match reduced incomes with projected expenses that have remained the same or increased since the last year.
One increase for Oliver and other counties statewide is the costs to comply with notification requirements mandated under Marcy’s Law. The law, voted in by referendum in the 2016 election, became effective Dec. 8, 2016. There was no provision in the law to fund added requirements.
Shiloh Morast, Women’s Action Resource Center, Beulah, appeared before the commission to discuss increased hours needed for victim notification. As the victim assistance professional for Oliver County, Morast must not only accomplish all the tasks she was required to perform prior to the law’s passage, but also notify all victims of crimes and file victim impact statements. Notifications are sent to all victims of a perpetrator, even for previous unrelated crimes.