County Board Committee Okays Court Fine to Benefit CASA

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Published on November 14 2013 11:26 pm
Last Updated on November 14 2013 11:26 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Board's Tax and Finance Committee Thursday agreed to consider a vote by the full Board to impose a $20 fine on court filings.  The revenue would benefit CASA of Effingham County.

CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, is an effort by volunteers to serve as advocates for children who are innocent parties in family matters.

Effingham County CASA Executive Director Libby Moeller told committee members that the revenue would greatly assist the agency in efforts to "break the cycle of abuse and neglect".  Moeller asked how anyone can tell how much such a result would save in harm to children and in expense to the court system.

The statute reads that a fine of anywhere from $10 to $30 can be imposed and Moeller asked for the entire $30 option to be considered, but committee members voted to recommend a $20 fine.

The committee also agreed to recommend the full Board consider revised legislation regarding truancy.  The revision would eliminate home schooled and private school students from the legislation.  Any action against a truant student would have to be enacted by the State's Attorney's office; a police officer could not on his or her own initiate an action against a youth thought to be a truant.

The committee forwarded a fiscal year county budget calling for $148 more in income than outgo, and a tax levy the same as last year's levy.  Also forwarded to the full Board: two contracts with County employees represented by the Teamsters Union, the reappointment of retired Effingham Fire Chief Nick Althoff to the County 911 Board, and an agreement that non-union County employees get the same pay rate increase as union workers.