PLEASE ACT NOW.
The NYS Senate has included the statutory pay increase in their one-house budget resolution. The Assembly did not included the increase in their one-house budget.
The budget process ends by April 1, so your efforts are needed now, not later, if we have any chance to see a compensation increase this year.
You must act now.
There is still a possibility we can get an increase this year. Please contact your Assembly members to let them know we exist. The Criminal Courts and Family Courts need our services, their constituents need our services, and to provide these services effectively, we need a raise.
The language in the Senate one-house budget resolution is as follows:
“…The Senate supports increasing the hourly compensation of assigned counsel under Article 18-B of the County Law. These attorneys, who represent children and parents in family matters as well as indigent criminal defendants, have not received an increase in compensation for over a decade. These attorneys are essential to providing access to justice for those who cannot afford representation. Comparable compensation in the federal courts has risen to $140 per hour while attorneys in our state courts receive $60 per hour for misdemeanor cases and $75 per hour for other cases. The Senate believes that the Executive should commit state funds to support the increase in the assigned counsel rate under Article 18-B of the County Law.”
While reaching out to our local members of the Legislature is very important, it is also important to reach out to the leadership in the Assembly and Senate who can have a significant impact. Attached [linked below] are the following documents to make the letter writing campaign easier:
- Sample letters/emails to send, which are Onondaga County specific; Sample Letters-Email re 18-B rates
- List of our local legislators’ email addresses, as well as other legislators who have leadership roles on this issue; List of Legislators
- The Assigned Counsel Association of NYS letter explaining the issue in more detail; and ACA-NYS Letter re 18-B Rates
- Chief Judge DiFiore’s letter recommending rate increase. 2019-02-26 Chief Judge DiFiore letter re rate increase 2 26 19
Please don’t wait… ACT NOW.
Kathleen M. Dougherty
Onondaga County Bar Assoc.
Assigned Counsel Program, Inc.