Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 28: Public Defense Lobby Day in New York State

New York State defense attorney groups are organizing a Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Lobby Day to advocate for increased funding for public defense, including the Justice Equality Act requiring a state fiscal takeover of public defense expenses.

On December 31, Governor Cuomo vetoed the Justice Equality Act. The bill has been reintroduced in the Assembly and groups are pressing the Senate to do the same.

Previously known as the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act, the bill requires the state to assume the cost of public defense in a 7 year phase in, while also requiring the state to fund significant quality improvements and caseload reduction.

To advocate for increased indigent defense funding, CDANY, NYSDA and NYSACDL are organizing a Lobby Day on Tuesday, February 28th to promote the:

* Justice Equality Act (A.1903);
* New York State Defenders Association's 2017-2018 budget request; and
* Indigent Legal Services Office's 2017-2018 budget request.

The groups plan to travel to Albany and meet with up to six legislators to advocate for increased public defense funding. The Lobby Day will be from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.