On Monday, July 18, the House and Senate approved a $52.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2023. Included in the budget are several Massachusetts Bar Association priorities: $41 million for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), free phone calls for inmates and a compensation increase for Massachusetts jurists.
"We are grateful to Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Ron Mariano, Ways and Means Chairs Sen. Michael Rodrigues and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, and Judiciary Committee Chairs Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Michael Day for their leadership for their commitment to access to justice," said Martin W. Healy, MBA chief legal counsel and chief operating officer.
The MLAC line item was funded at $41 million, a much needed $6 million increase over FY22. MLAC provides funding for basic civil legal needs of low-income people, helping them with issues related to housing, immigration, family law, domestic violence, health care, education and protection of elders.
Also, included in the budget was a 12.5% compensation increase for Massachusetts’ judges and clerks.
The governor has 10 days to act on the fiscal year 2023 budget. The conference committee report can be found at https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FY2023/ConferenceCommittee