BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's Appellate Public Defender's office is asking state budget writers for new money to hire an extra attorney to help balance a heavy workload. The Spokesman-Review  reports State Appellate Public Defender Sara Thomas asked the finance committee Monday to boost her office's staff from 15 to 16 attorneys with the help of a budget increase of nearly $70,000.

Thomas said the workloads of attorneys at her office are double the national average. She said those workloads have increased "drastically" over the last three years. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he supports transferring money from the office's general operating funds to its personnel budget to make an additional hire.