The bottom line in the omnibus judiciary finance bill is a $1.36 billion funding request for the 2024-25 biennium.
Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville), the committee chair and bill sponsor, said members plan to consider the amendment, plus any others offered, and markup the bill Thursday.
Omnibus judiciary finance bill
The Minnesota Constitution requires public defenders and civil legal aid lawyers be provided to all state residents upon request. But the state is failing to meet those obligations due to chronic underfunding, and this omnibus bill is a long-overdue attempt to correct that deficiency, said Becker-Finn.
To that end, the bill would appropriate $95.7 million to hire 100 more public defenders, who represent those accused of criminal offenses, and give them pay raises.
Civil Legal Services lawyers, who represent low-income clients in civil cases, would also see a compensation increase thanks to a proposed appropriation of $37.2 million.
The people sitting on the bench and the clerks working alongside them would get salary increases, too: Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Court judges would get 4.4% raises, and $8.8 million would be allocated in the biennium to boost clerk’s base pay.
[MORE: View the spreadsheet]
Appropriations in the bill
The major items funded by the $1.36 billion 2024-25 biennium appropriation include:
Omnibus judiciary policy bill
The omnibus judiciary policy bill would update and add new provisions to civil law statutes related to property, data, civil rights, boards, contracts, forfeitures, marriage, and name changes.
Notable provisions in the bill would:
What’s in the bills?
The following are selected bills that have been incorporated in part or in whole into the omnibus judiciary finance bill:
The following are selected bills that have been incorporated in part or in whole into the omnibus judiciary policy bill: