Public Defenders Say State Budget Will Limit Services

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Budget cuts may force some defendants who
would normally rely on public defenders to appear in court without
state-funded legal representation, the Department for Public
Advocacy Commission announced Tuesday.

The state spending blueprint authorized last week by the General
Assembly would cut the Department for Public Advocacy by $2.5
million in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, DPA
commission chairman Robert Ewald said. That means some defendants
who would normally be assigned a public defender may not get one,
Ewald said.

"We don't have enough money to pay enough lawyers," Ewald said
in a telephone interview. "People don't work for nothing, and you
can't tell a lawyer to take 800 cases per year."

Kentucky lawmakers last week approved a two-year, $19 billion
state spending plan that cuts some government programs and services
across the state. Economic forecasters have projected the state is
facing a $900 million revenue shortfall during the next two years.

Lawmakers offset some of Gov. Steve Beshear's proposed cuts
through a plan that included taking additional proceeds from the
Kentucky Lottery, restructuring some of the state's debt and
capitalizing on an expected flood of retiring state employees.

Beshear and other lawmakers called for raising the tax on
cigarettes as a way to fill the projected revenue hole. Beshear
wanted legislators to agree to raising the cigarette tax by 70
cents per pack, while the House approved a quarter-per-pack tax
hike. Ultimately, the legislature did not agree to raise taxes
after the Senate opposed the idea.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Apr 9, 2008 at 06:56 PM
    If people wouldn't break the law, this wouldn't be an issue.
  • by DC Location: London on Apr 9, 2008 at 02:49 PM
    Everybody just chill. Come Monday it will be all right, according to Jimmy Buffett rules....
  • by AC Location: Corbin on Apr 9, 2008 at 07:49 AM
    what kind of jacka$$es do we have in our state legislature? beshear's right--(1) we need casinos for revenue and (2) taxes should be raised on cigarettes (in large part to offset the astronomical costs of providing healthcare to smokers).


2851 Winchester Rd. Lexington, Ky 40509 859-299-0411 - switchboard 859-299-2727 - newsroom
Register for Email
RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 17417264 -
Gray Television, Inc.