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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 19, 2017 04:11 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Funding for courts and indigent legal services
I intend to introduce legislation to address certain existing sunset provisions relating to funding for the courts and indigent legal services. These are crucial funding provisions without which the operations of the courts and the delivery of legal services to the poor would be crippled.

First, there is a grant program that is used to partially reimburse counties for expenses that they incur to support senior judges in the courts of common pleas. This grant program, which accounts for approximately $1.375 million annually, is set to expire on June 30, 2017. My bill will extend this sunset provision by five years.

Second, a surcharge on court filings in the amount of $11.25 supports the Judicial Computer System Augmentation Account. This provision is set to expire on December 31, 2017. My bill will extend this sunset provision by five years.

Finally, Chapter 49 of Title 42, which is known as the Access to Justice Act, will expire on November 1, 2017. Chapter 49 established the Access to Justice Fund in the State Treasury, all moneys in which must be used to fund the delivery of legal services to the poor. My bill will eliminate the sunset provision for Chapter 49.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB741