The following are remarks by Representative Claire Cronin, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, during the Massachusetts House budget debate on April 25, 2018.
Rep. Cronin: “I rise in support of the amendment for public safety and judiciary. There are many important provisions in the consolidated amendment. I want to highlight one that is near and dear to us. That is the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. We fund it at $20.75 million, a $2.75 million increase over the current budget and a $2.57 million increase over the governor’s budget. This was a strong priority for the majority of members of this House. MLAC is a vital resource and removes barriers to legal assistance. Last year assisted over 83,000 individuals in Massachusetts regarding housing, domestic violence and other issues. In fiscal 2017, MLAC yielded a return of over $59 million in benefits, including securing federal assistance and generating substantial savings for the state in housing and health care costs. I ask for your support for this amendment.”