In Governor Charlie Baker's fiscal year 2017 budget, the Trial
Court was left with a $6.7 million reduction in funding from the
Legislature's final budget. As the Legislature begins to take up
veto overrides as early as today, the MBA will continue to fight
for legislative overrides of the governor's vetoes of Trial Court
Current funding for fiscal year 2017 of $633 million does not
support current staffing levels and may likely result in reduced
public hours in clerk's and registrar's offices, increased
caseloads for probation officers, security personnel shortages, and
a delay of the current effort to digitize paper court records.
The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was spared a
reduction and is funded at $18 million for fiscal year 2017, a $1
million increase over fiscal year 2016.
Senate passes juvenile justice reform bill
In legislation passed by the Senate this week, juvenile records
of misdemeanors would be expunged. The legislation would also
create a parent/child privilege, exclude young children (7-10 years
old) from delinquency proceedings and codify the Juvenile Court's
practice of banning indiscriminate shackling, among other
provisions. The bill now awaits action in the House of
Representatives. To read the legislation click here.