Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009

MBA urges Gov. Deval Patrick to reconsider Trial Court budget cuts

Gov. Patrick announces an additional 7.4 percent cut to Trial Court's slashed budget

Following Gov. Deval Patrick's announcement yesterday that an additional 7.4 percent cut will be made to the already slashed Trial Court budget, the Massachusetts Bar Association is urging Patrick to reconsider his decision.

Patrick called for the Trial Court to further trim down its 2010 budget to $560 million, which will ultimately mean massive layoffs. The Trial Court requested $583 million, and the MBA’s House of Delegates voted to support that appeal. The Trial Court had already in October volunteered to trim $22 million off its $605 million fiscal year 2009 budget, substantially more than other government departments. Reducing the remaining $583 million budget yet again is devastating to all courts in the commonwealth and detrimental to the fair administration of justice for all citizens of Massachusetts.

“All Massachusetts citizens are entitled to an efficient, responsive court system. These material cuts to the Trial Court's budget imperil the core functions of the courts. They impede access to timely justice while jeopardizing the significant innovations the courts have made in the last six years,” MBA President Edward W. McIntyre said.

“The harsh reality is that these cuts come when so many of our citizens, finding themselves in dire financial straits, resort to the Courts for relief and refuge,” McIntyre said. “It's simply unrealistic to expect the courts to service so many more citizens with a drastically reduced budget.”
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