Maine's funding for court-appointed lawyers runs out

FeaturesAssociated Press

Attorneys in Maine appointed to defend people who can't afford a lawyer will have to wait nearly two months to get paid after state funding ran out.

The Portland Press Herald reports court-appointed lawyers won't get paid until the new fiscal year, which starts July 1.

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John Pelletier, executive director of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services, said lawmakers didn't set aside enough money in the two-year budget but had said they would fill the gap, if necessary.

Lawmakers approved $15.5 million for indigent defense for the fiscal year ending June 30, less than the $18.4 million the commission recommended.

Pelletier said money also ran out in 2013, but lawmakers were able to fund the shortfall before the fiscal year ended.


Information from: Portland Press Herald,