The pay rate of 40-dollars-an-hour offered by the Wisconsin Public Defenders office is said to be too low, but it’s not going up. That office assigns about 40 percent of its 138-thousand cases each year to private attorneys, but the state struggles to find attorneys willing to take the cases. The Sixth Amendment Center says the break-even level for attorneys is 42-dollars-an-hour. Wisconsin’s compensation is the lowest rate among the 50 states. The Legislature rejected a bill raising the rate to 55-to-70-dollars-an-hour. That would have cost taxpayers an additional 19-million dollars.