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Wed March 11, 2009
House Spending Bill To Help Out Public Defenders
By Tony McVeigh
Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy is warning that without new funding, the agency will have to shut its doors on April 30. A lawsuit filed by the agency after its budget was cut by two million dollars last year is still pending. But House budget chairman Rick Rand says the state's rainy day fund, which was raided earlier this year to help reduce a half-billion dollar state budget deficit, will be raided again. "I do not believe that we can let the Department of Public Advocacy run out of money and stop their ability to defend people in this commonwealth."
Public advocates will get almost five million dollars this fiscal year. A floor amendment would give prosecutors the same. After much debate, the amended bill passed the House 77-18.