A long-term priority of the New York State Bar Association is full government funding of indigent criminal defense services, to meet the state’s constitutional mandate under Gideon v. Wainwright. We applauded the Legislature’s 2016 unanimous passage of S.8114/A.10706 to have the state take-over all funding for indigent criminal defense services, and we urged Governor Cuomo to sign the bill.
Like many, we were disappointed by Governor Cuomo’s veto of this bill.
The Governor’s 2017-2018 budget proposal includes some additional state funding for indigent defense services, to be used to bring the services up to a constitutional level statewide. However, the Governor inappropriately proposes to raise some of those additional funds by increasing the Biennial Attorney Registration Fee by $50.
As an attorney licensed in New York, I strongly object to the proposed increase found in S2005/A3005; Part D; Section 14.
As my state representative, I urge you to OPPOSE this fee increase.
Providing indigent criminal defense is a constitutional mandate. It is a state obligation and a societal responsibility, and it should be paid from the General Fund, not by a surcharge on lawyers.