Baker makes FY16 budget recommendations

Issue April 2015

Gov. Charlie Baker has released his budget recommendations for FY16.

The legal community was largely disappointed by those recommendations. The Trial Court was allocated $603 million, which is approximately a $10 million decrease from FY15 funding and nearly $40 million below the maintenance request submitted by the court. If Baker's recommendations were to come to fruition, the Trial Court estimates that they would have to eliminate 550 employees. The Trial Court has already had a 17 percent reduction in staffing between July 2007 and July 2014.

Additionally, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) was allocated $14,683,589, which is level funding from current FY15 after the midyear cuts in January. MLAC was originally allocated $15 million in FY15 and had requested a $10 million increase to $25 million to address the growing need for civil legal aid.

The House of Representatives is set to take up its version of the budget in April. The MBA will remain proactive in working with the leadership of our affiliated bars and court leaders to advocate for a budget that provides appropriate access to justice for all.