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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/27/2016

Contact: Lauren DiTullio

617-778-1944

Statements from Boston Bar Association President Lisa Arrowood on Governor Baker’s Proposed FY17 Budget

On Judiciary funding:

"The Boston Bar Association is pleased that Governor Baker shares our commitment to improving access to justice. Our courts have worked hard to create a plan to become more efficient and effective, and the Governor has rewarded their efforts with additional resources - in the form of a 1% increase in total budget - needed to begin putting their plans into action. The Boston Bar Association will continue to advocate for adequate funding for our courts for the duration of the budget process. At the same time, we were very pleased to see that the Governor recognizes the need for all Massachusetts residents to have access to the benefits and efficiencies of the dedicated Housing Court, which currently covers only two-thirds of the population."

On funding for the Massachusetts Legal Aid Corporation (MLAC):

"Governor Baker's increase in funding for MLAC - bringing its total budget to $17,170,000 - is an excellent starting point for discussion. As three separate and independent economic groups have shown, every $1 spent on civil legal aid brings a return on investment of $2-$5 back to the Commonwealth's coffers. By increasing MLAC, not only will we help the state's most vulnerable people, we'll also reap the economic benefits of civil legal aid. The Boston Bar Association stands by its report recommending a $30 million increase over the next few years, but we know we won't get there overnight, especially in these tight fiscal times. The Boston Bar Association will continue to advocate to the Legislature for adequate funding for legal aid for the duration of the budget process."

The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.