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Public defenders upset with unequal funding in Gov. Hochul’s executive budget proposal

Schreibersdorf says that this could lead to a further backlog of cases in the justice system and issues in securing digital evidence like body cam video, which she says has become a struggle for both defense attorneys and prosecutors.

News 12 Staff

Mar 16, 2023, 12:57 AM

Updated 460 days ago

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Public defenders upset with unequal funding in Gov. Hochul’s executive budget proposal 
Public defenders across New York are not happy with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget proposal which would provide state district attorneys with over $100 million in funding.   
Lisa Schreibersdorf, of Brooklyn Defender Services, states, “Unfortunately, the executive budget did not provide the same funding for that purpose for the defender organizations, mostly the public defenders." 
Schreibersdorf says that this could lead to a further backlog of cases in the justice system and issues in securing digital evidence like body cam video, which she says has become a struggle for both defense attorneys and prosecutors. 
The public defenders say the solution is simple: fund both DA’s and defenders equally. Both the state Senate and Assembly one-house budgets have proposed this.  
If not, Schreibersdorf says the effects will be easy to spot. 
"If the DA’s have the funding and they are prepared for a case that we are not prepared for, there is a very serious risk that judges might force someone that is not really prepared to go forward." 
When News 12 reached out to Gov. Hochul's office about this issue, they responded saying they look forward to working with the Legislature on a final budget. The final budget must be approved by April 1.  


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