In just three and one-half years, funding for the Massachusetts State Trial Court has plummeted by 14 percent, resulting in the loss of over 1,000 highly experienced employees - according to Justice on the Road to Ruin, a report issued today by the Boston Bar Association in advance of the Massachusetts Senate releasing its proposed budget. Absent level funding from the legislature, the Trial Court's fiscal year 2012 appropriation will have dropped an additional 4.3 percent from the prior fiscal year. By contrast, appropriations for the rest of state government have been reduced by 2.2 percent.
"Under the Massachusetts constitution, the judiciary - of which the Trial Court is a vital component - is not just another state agency or expendable service.It is a separate and co-equal branch of government, filling a role that is critical to maintaining our free society," said BBA President Donald R. Frederico. "The Commonwealth has an obligation to provide adequate support for the judiciary. When it fails to do so, we all lose."