Committee Approves Attorney Funding Increase
More money could be coming to Menominee County’s court-appointed attorneys. After discussing the issue at the county board meeting Tuesday night, the county’s finance committee met Wednesday to consider a proposal that would allocate $30-thousand to the county’s five indigent attorneys for July through October until a state grant of over $400-thousand takes effect in October. Judge Mary Barglind says the indigent attorneys are severely undercompensated for their time and are having a hard time just keeping their offices open at the current rates. She adds, a new state mandate will lock in the county’s current contribution for indigent attorneys and any charges above that will be covered by the state grant.
Judge Barglind says another way to help increase the funding available to indigent attorneys would be to raise the court costs for those convicted of a crime.
Of the additional money being provided by the count, 70% will go to the circuit court, 20% will benefit the family court, and the remaining 10% will be given to the probate court. These funds will be drawn from the county’s reserves fund. The committee voted to recommend the increase to the full county board for final approval.