House Ways and Means Committee releases budget

Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015
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The House Ways and Means Committee released its nearly $38 billion budget proposal for FY16 on Wednesday, April 15. It is a 2.8 percent increase in spending and it is $100 million less then the budget recommendations put forward by Governor Charlie Baker in his first budget.

The proposal put forth by the House Ways and Means Committee is markedly better for the Trial Court than Gov. Baker's proposal with the House Ways and Means Committee coming in at $620.5 million, but still far short of the maintenance funding request of $642.7 million. If funded at this amount for the coming fiscal year, the courts will be forced to layoff personnel, and it would significantly hamper the day-to-day operations of our courts and jeopardize the ability of the courts to dispense justice to the citizens of Massachusetts.

The proposal also gives the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) $17 million, a $2 million increase from FY15, but far short of the $10 million increase sought. Rep. Ruth Balser will be filing an amendment to increase funding to $22 million.

The budget debate in the House of Representatives is set to begin on April 27. The Senate will debate their budget in May. Please reach out to your representatives and voice your support for appropriate funding for the Trial Court and for MLAC.

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