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Bar News - May 13, 2011

State Budget Forces Many Cuts

This year’s state budget cuts are some of the most severe in decades. There are sweeping changes to funding for several agencies related to the legal system and the provision of justice in New Hampshire. Here is just a glimpse of the changes caused by the proposed budget:

NH Judicial Branch

Despite planned efficiencies as a result of the new circuit courts, the Judicial Branch faces a continued shortage of judges and will likely have to lay off as many as 60 employees. Read about the budget’s impact on the courts.

NH Legal Assistance

The entirety of the state’s funding for NH Legal Assistance – $3.48 million over two years – has been removed from the state budget.

NHBA President Marilyn McNamara and NHLA Executive Director John Tobin write about the effects of the budget on free civil legal services for New Hampshire neediest citizens. Read more.

NH Department of Justice

Proposed cuts to the NH Department of Justice would mean a reduction in services currently provided by the Attorney General’s Office, which would include dismantling the Consumer Protection Division, discontinued investigation and prosecution of economic crimes, cybercrimes, threats of harm to public officials, public integrity investigations of public officials, and discontinued prosecution of environmental crimes. Read more.

NH Department of Corrections

A Senate proposal would outsource prison duties to out-of-state private contractors. As a result, 600 inmates would be sent out of New Hampshire and as many as 250 Department of Corrections staff would be laid off. Read more.

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