On Thursday, September 27, the Legislature will go back into formal session. On that date, a delegation from the Massachusetts Association of Court Appointed Attorneys will be on Beacon Hill in an effort to secure passage of this supplemental budget before the state closes its books on the past fiscal year budget.
These lawyers are not employees of the state. They are independent contactors who provide these legal services at a rate which is a fraction of the market value for these legal services. The procedure for payment is that lawyers submit a bill to the Commonwealth based on the number of hours worked. Due to a legislative roadblock, many of these lawyers have not received payment for work which was completed during April , May, and June of this year.
“We respectfully call upon the Legislature to immediately approve that portion of the supplemental budget that is needed for the Commonwealth to pay what it legally owes these lawyers. MACAA will continue to advocate for full funding of the budget line item at the time the Legislature appropriates its annual fiscal year budget. MACAA will also seek to have the Legislature implement and fund the hourly rates which were recommended by the 2004 Commission on Indigent Defense” said Springfield attorney Mark L. Hare, president of the Massachusetts Association of Court Appointed Attorneys.
Question: How would YOU like to wait for six or more months to be paid for work you have already done, and timely billed, following ALL the rules?????