Gov. Deval Patrick released his budget recommendations for
fiscal 2011, including a budget cut of approximately $10 million
for the courts, which is to be spread throughout the system.
The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. was level funded at
The recommendation for the Committee on Public Counsel Services
was level funding; however, language in the budget is of concern to
practitioners. The budget grants transferability between CPCS
accounts with negative impact on private bar advocate funding by
encouraging CPCS to hire additional full-time public defenders.
The filing of the governor's budget marks the beginning of the
process. The House will release and debate its own budget in April,
followed by the Senate in May. After each branch enacts their
budgets, a conference committee is then appointed to work out the
differences between the two bills. The conference committee report
will then go to the House and Senate for votes before landing on
the governor's desk for his signature.