Friday, July 29, 2011

Barnes on Gov. Christie's Budget Cuts to Legal Services Programs


(Trenton) - Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex) issued a multimedia package Thursday in which he discusses the impact the budget cuts Gov. Christie made to legal services for low-income New Jerseyans.

The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman Barnes' comments and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website - - or by the following link:

A transcript of comments by Assemblyman Barnes is appended below:

Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman:

"Legal Services has always provided legal representation to those below the poverty line and, over the last three or four years, that group has grown substantially.

"The cuts in the budget were $10 million.  And that $10 million cut really has had a devastating impact.  The reduction in staff of lawyers and paralegals and support staff will mean that even more of our fellow citizens who are below the poverty line are not going to be represented.

"And so, if one party has a lawyer and the other doesn't, the one that doesn't is really at a tremendous disadvantage.

"The governor has shown some flexibility by reconsidering his line item vetoes in other areas of the budget.  This is yet another category that we would respectfully ask him to reconsider."

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