AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Gov. Paul LePage is transferring funds to ensure that court-appointed lawyers are paid.
LePage said Thursday that he's transferring a total of $913,890 to fix a budget shortfall at the Maine Commission for Indigent Legal Services. Without his action, court-appointed lawyers would have gone five weeks without getting paid for services they provided.
LePage authorized the transfer of $164,800 from the state's rainy day fund and another $750,000 from personnel service balances in Maine Revenue Services.
The shortfall arose from increases in the average cost of each legal case, as well as an increase in the number of cases in which defendants were declared indigent.
Indigent Services Commission Chairman Ron Schneider thanked the governor, saying the money will help lawyers who provide an "essential and constitutionally-required service."
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