News Releases
May 09, 2024

Policy and News from the Courts, Week of May 6


Senate Budget Plan Falls Short in Key Areas

This week, the State Senate’s Ways & Means Committee released its budget proposal, which unfortunately offers only level-funding (i.e., no increase from the current year) for civil legal aid through MLAC and makes no provision for an Access to Counsel Program in housing cases. Ahead of the full Senate’s floor debate on the budget, we anticipate that Senators Jamie Eldridge and Cindy Creem will be filing an amendment to offer an additional $6 million as requested by MLAC. Trial Court funding in the budget matches their request, though they plan to seek about $400,000 more for the SJC through the amendment process.

We’ll be in touch about how you can support these amendments, and later, about advocacy with the budget conference committee to maintain the Access to Counsel Program in the final FY25 budget, after it was included in the House’s budget.

Read our letter on BBA budget priorities here.

Trial Court Seeks Input on Next Juvenile Court Chief

Chief Justice Heidi Brieger of the Trial Court has asked for nominations of sitting Juvenile Court judges to fill the vacancy to be created as of the June 30 retirement date for current Chief Justice Amy Nechtem, who has held that post since 2014. More broadly, Chief Justice Brieger states that she is “soliciting comments from judges, court employees, attorneys, and other interested persons on the condition and operations of the Juvenile Court Department, its priorities and accomplishments, the future goals and direction of the court, and the role of the Chief Justice in leading the court in the future.”

All correspondence containing nominations and/or comments should be sent to her by May 31 at or:

Executive Office of the Trial Court

John Adams Courthouse

One Pemberton Square, Suite 1M

Boston, MA 02108