Gov. Baker's court budget a 'good first step'

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016
Article Picture

On Jan. 27, Gov. Charlie Baker released his administration's $39.6 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2017. Included in the proposal is $628.5 million in trial court funding -- a 1 percent increase over fiscal year 2016 funding.

"Governor Baker's fiscal year 2017 budget proposal -- particularly the funding for specialty courts, such as drug courts, and the new money allocated for the statewide expansion of the Housing Court -- is a welcome sign of support for the important role our courts play in communities across the commonwealth," said MBA Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Healy.

"Although the numbers fall short of the Trial Court's request, we view the governor's budget as a good first step. We will be working diligently with court and legislative leadership to obtain the additional funding needed to ensure the proper administration of justice."

Additionally, Gov. Baker's proposal provided $17.17 million in funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. While an increase of $170,000 from fiscal year 2016, it is far short of the $27 million requested by MLAC.

The House of Representatives is slated to tackle its version of the budget this spring, followed by the Senate.