Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Apr. 17, 2008

Judicial branch fares well in House version of Fiscal Year 2009 state budget

Budget to be debated last week in April before heading to the Senate

The House Ways and Means Committee, on Wednesday, released their FY 2009 state budget proposal. Despite the anticipated $1.6 billion shortfall, judiciary related accounts fared well. The budget will be debated by the House of Representatives the last week of April. It is anticipated that the Senate Ways and Means Committee will release its version of the budget in May.

Some of the FY 2009 recommendations are as follows:

  • $816.7 million for the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court, Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), Trial Court and all other judicial agencies. This recommendation represents a $46.4 million increase from Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations.
  • Funding increases for CPCS to negate the need for supplemental funding later in the fiscal year, and to generate savings through use of the public defender division.
  • Additional $1.3 million for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation to expand civil legal services across the commonwealth.
  • Expand Appeals Court staff to support its 25 justices.
  • Fund the Trial Court at $598.6 million, an additional $18.7 million over fiscal year 2008.
  • Provide the Chief Justice of Administration and Management an additional $3 million in retained revenue funding to enhance managerial efficiency.
  • Increase funding for the Office of the Commissioner of Probation by $3.1 million to increase use of GPS tracking of probationers.
  • Fund CPCS at $181 million to support all anticipated costs associated with the cmmonwealth’s public counsel system.

Also Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick filed a FY 2008 supplemental budget that provides the necessary funding for private bar advocate bills and related investigatory costs for the remainder of FY 2008. The supplemental appropriation will be sent to the House Ways and Means Committee for its consideration.

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