Line item 0321-1500 is “staff”
Line item 0321-1510 is “independent contractors” – private attorneys who accept court appointments in child welfare, mental health, and criminal cases. I hope that the legislature will repair this damage due to having a better understanding of this issue and this kind of work and independently contracting legal worker.
Note the vast expansion of the staff line item, 250 new state employees, more or less, and the slash and burn to the independent court appointed bar.
Remember, no taxpayer pays pensions to those who provide representation under 0321-1510 as mandated by the constitution indigent defense per Gideon v. Wainwright
Follow the money; see what was done. Lost in Obama’s speech probably to everyone but those affected by these two line items.
And – oh yeah – no separate funding or protection for Guardians Ad Litems. None. No funding at all given that Chief Justice Mulligan would hold the reins to one big pool of money with no requirement he fund the role of Guardian Ad Litem.
It will be up to the legislature to repair the devastation to indigent defense and guardians ad litem that the Governor’s budget would otherwise inflict or perpetuate.
While I appreciate that this proposed budget level funds legal aid from last year, the failure to value or protect the work of either Guardians Ad Litem for kids in state care, or the work of the independent attorneys who shoulder the work of indigent defense is … hard to understand…and a sad disappointment.
Once again, is anybody there? Does anybody care?