On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write to voice our opposition to Senate Bill 8, a bill that would replace the multi-stakeholder Louisiana Public Defender Board with a state public defender selected by the Governor. If enacted, this legislation would significantly undermine the independence of the defense function in Louisiana, further eroding the community’s trust in our legal institutions and negatively impacting public safety, while wholly failing to address the core need of the state’s public defense system — a stable and robust stream of funding to insure the provision of constitutionally effective representation.