House Committee on Ways and Means releases budget

Thursday, Apr. 13, 2017
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The House Committee on Ways and Means released its FY18 budget proposal earlier this week. Proposed amendments to the pending budget are due back today and debate is set to begin the week of April 24.

The Trial Court received $656.6 million in funding for FY18. This number is greater than the $646.8 million proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker. This budget maintained funding for the court's specialty sessions. However, the measure on expanding the scope of the Housing Court is still under debate and was not included in the House Ways and Means recommendation. The budget includes funding for the judicial pay increases that were part of a larger pay increase passed by the Legislature earlier this year. The bar is grateful for these increases as a number of clerks and registers and their staff will also receive a boost in compensation.

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) was funded at $19.5 million, a $1.5 million increase from FY17 funding. Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton) has filed an amendment for an additional $1.5 million in funding for a total of $21 million. Please contact your state representative today and ask them to support Amendment #822 to increase legal aid funding during the budget debate. To find your legislator, click here.