I began working with the Authority in October 2004 and am a little sad I missed the really early days of fines and fees. I love to hear stories of the huge meetings conducted throughout the state for all court types informing them of upcoming changes due to HB 1 EX. I love hearing how Mike Holiman would set up speakers before the meeting and blast music to welcome everyone or hearing someone ask, “So we can’t buy police cars with the money and pay later?” Ah, to have gone to those meetings. I have found that nothing seems to cause more irritation and consternation than fines and fees!
Through the years, there have been many changes: the creation of driver’s education training fund, the increase in clerk’s retirement fund and the creation of the judicial operation fund fee, to name a few. With each change, my “cheat sheet” gets longer and longer and training classes have more and more exceptions to point out. Each legislative session brings much anticipation and bill watching. As the session begins, I find myself looking at new bills seeing if they affect fines and fees. Never did I think I would find reading bills such an integral part of my life. Yet, in spite of my diligence, sometimes I still get surprised by a bill which passed that I didn’t find until after it became law. Thankfully, clerks are just as diligent (if not more so) and often bring these bills to my attention helping keep our fines and fees department on the ball!In looking back over the past eight years, I see how much has changed and evolved. Although some of the changes have been difficult, they become easier with each passing day, month and year. Out of all of this, there is one good change that has occurred. I certainly know more about fines and fees today than I did in 2004 and I look forward to knowing even more in another 8 years!