I-Team: Public Defenders

(WWLP) - State lawmakers on Tuesday approved $26 Million in a supplemental budget for back pay to court appointed attorneys. These are private attorneys, independent contractors who are not state employees. They represent the poorest of clients, who otherwise couldn't afford representation.

The problem is that lawmakers have refused to include enough money in their fiscal year budget to pay these lawyers on time. Year after year these lawyers have to go nearly two months without a paycheck as lawmakers wait for the fiscal year calendar to turn as they have run out of money.

Thursday on 22News at 6, the I-Team exposes this problem, reveals the solution that is being ignored and the domino effect it creates.

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