Thursday, Jul. 19, 2007
A call for action: Restore funding to the Trial and Appeals Courts
The Massachusetts Bar Association is urging its members to contact their legislators immediately and ask them to restore funding for the Trial Court and Appeals Court, which lost millions in funding last week. We need your calls now because the House and Senate may begin to take up overrides in the immediate future.
Gov. Deval Patrick vetoed a combined total of $11.87 million in funding for the courts – $11.4 million for the Trial Court and $420,000 for the Appeals Court – when he signed the fiscal 2008 budget on July 12.
“The MBA urges our membership to contact their legislators in order to ensure adequate funding of our courts. The failure to override Gov. Patrick’s vetoes will result in the reduction or elimination of critical services,” MBA President Mark D Mason said. “As a bar, as a community, we will all be affected should such vetoes not be overridden.”
If funding is not restored, hundreds of court employees will be laid off, including court reporters, interpreters and guardians ad litem. Fewer employees would slow down services, increase the case backlog and compromise the safety and security of our courthouses.
We recognize the economic strain facing the commonwealth, but we also know the value of a fully functioning justice system and we will continue to fight for it.
Your representative’s phone number can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm
Your senator’s phone number can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenus.htm
If you are not sure who your legislators are, you can find out at: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php