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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/26/2017

Contact: Lauren DiTullio

617-778-1944

Statements from Boston Bar Association President Carol Starkey on Governor Baker's Proposed FY18 Budget

On Judiciary funding:
 
“The Boston Bar Association is pleased that Governor Baker shares our commitment to improving access to justice, as shown by his budget proposal, which lays a solid foundation for the courts to build upon.  Under current leadership, the court system has made great strides and is committed to the delivery of justice with dignity and speed.  As the budget process develops, the Boston Bar Association will continue to advocate to our partners in the Legislature on behalf of the judiciary, seeking to ensure that they enjoy adequate resources to maintain their position as a national leader in providing justice for all.”

On statewide expansion of the Housing Court:

“We are thrilled that the Governor once again included funding in his budget plan that would finally grant access to the state’s dedicated Housing Court to all residents.  Clearly, the Governor recognizes that the Housing Court has been a success, offering expertise and efficiencies to tenants and landlords alike, as well as to municipalities enforcing code violations.  There is no reason that only one-third of the state’s population should continue to be denied these benefits.”

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

“Governor Baker's increase in funding for MLAC—bringing its total budget to $18,180,000—is an excellent starting point for discussion.  The Boston Bar Association is a long-standing champion of increased funding for civil legal aid, and we will continue to stand by our recent task-force report on the issue in making that case.  As that report demonstrated, through rigorous independent economic analysis, every $1 spent on civil legal aid brings $2-$5 back to the Commonwealth.  Greater MLAC funding not only does right by the most vulnerable among us, but also produces a positive return on investment.  That’s why we’ll continue to seek an increase to $23 million for FY18, and further growth in the years to come.”

 

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.