COLUMBUS - State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) this week announced the Senate passage of legislation to allow the part-time Paulding County County Court to become the full-time Paulding County Municipal Court.

Under current law, the Paulding County County Court is a part-time operation, meeting only three times a week. The legislation seeks to address concerns over a growing backlog of court hearings stretching weeks and sometimes months.

"This bill creates a system that will better serve the people of Paulding County through increased access to the court system," said McColley. "I am proud to support this important piece of legislation that protects the sixth amendment rights of the people in the 1st Senate District.”

House Bill 215 helps to accommodate the growing caseload that has put a heavy strain on the judicial system in Paulding County in recent years. This increase is attributed to the opioid epidemic, as well as a substantial increase in traffic tickets, accidents and moving violations following the 2012 expansion of US Route 24 from a two-lane to a four-lane highway.

The bill will now go to the Governor for further consideration.