Counties can cut costs by eliminating the office of Jury Commissioner under legislation approved by the House. In some counties, the office has become redundant and obsolete, according to a House Republican Caucus staffer who worked on the legislation, HB 705.

“In Cumberland and Lebanon Counties, for instance, the court administrator does nearly all the work that the Jury Commissioner used to do,” the staffer said. “But in some counties the jury commission still provides valuable services. A lot of it depends on the makeup of the court system in the counties and the personalities of the people involved. That’s why the bill leaves it up to the counties to decide.”

The sponsor of the HB 705, Glen Grell, R-Cumberland, said that Cumberland County’s Board of Commissioners and the county’s five-member House delegation have advocated for this legislation for many years.

Our county government transitioned to an automated, electronic-based jury selection system that has significantly reduced costs while protecting the integrity of the juror selection process, thereby negating the need to fill the jury commissioners’ positions,” Grell said.

Under the bill, the office would not be eliminated until the term of the jury commissioners expires.