MOUNT VERNON — Issues of health insurance costs and assigned counsel were the main budget concerns expressed when the Knox County Commissioners met with Bruce Malek of the Knox County Public Defender’s Office for an annual budget hearing Monday morning.
Nearly all of the 2012 appropriations were unchanged from 2011, with total appropriations for the year standing at $336,100, up from $324,950 in 2011. Health insurance appropriations rose more than $10,000 this past year, resulting in the only line item difference.
The Public Defender’s Office is exclusive in the fact of having employee health insurance appearing as a line item in their annual appropriations. The county-paid portion of the office’s health insurance is refunded by the state. This portion amounts to a 35 percent reimbursement, according to county administrator Rochelle Shackle.