Section 35Z: Counsel for Indigent Salary Enhancement Trust Fund
Section 35Z. There is hereby established a separate fund to be known as the Counsel for Indigent Salary Enhancement Trust Fund. There shall be credited to said fund all revenues collected pursuant to an initial filing fee of $15 for any private application for a criminal complaint for a misdemeanor by any party, not being a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, in any court of the commonwealth, from grants, gifts, contributions from any entity public or private and any revenue derived from the investment of amounts credited to said fund. The chief counsel for the committee for public counsel services shall expend funds, without further appropriation, solely for hourly rate enhancements for private bar advocates for the indigent. No expenditures from said fund shall cause said fund to be in deficiency at the end of a fiscal year. The court administrator, in consultation with the comptroller and the chief counsel for the committee for public counsel services, shall report monthly to the house and senate committees on ways and means on the status of the fund. In the event that the court administrator, in consultation with the chief counsel for the committee for public counsel services determines that the receipts for that fiscal year will be insufficient to pay hourly rate enhancements previously authorized, said chief counsel shall adjust hourly rate enhancements to ensure that the trust fund will have a positive balance at the end of the fiscal year.
On October 15 of each year the court administrator, in consultation with the comptroller, shall certify and report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the chief counsel for the committee for public counsel services the amount of trust fund receipts for the first quarter of the fiscal year and shall estimate total receipts for the fiscal year. No funds shall be expended from the trust before to the submission of said report. Upon receipt of the report, the chief counsel for the committee for public counsel services shall determine the hourly rate enhancement to be paid for that fiscal year, including retroactive payments for hours billed on or after July 1 of that fiscal year. Not more than $12,000,000 shall be expended from the trust fund in any fiscal year. Hourly rate enhancements funded from this trust shall not be construed as a funding obligation in the general appropriation act or supplemental appropriation acts. Any amounts received in excess of $12,000,000 in any fiscal year shall be credited to the General Fund.