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Measure would help state attorneys, PDs with loans

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first_img Measure would help state attorneys, PDs with loans Associate Editor A few weeks ago, a young attorney came to Sen. Skip Campbell’s office and begged for a job. He made only $28,000 and had $135,000 in student loans hanging over his head.“Unfortunately, I didn’t have a job to offer him,” said Campbell, D-Tamarac.But what Campbell offered the Senate Committee on the Judiciary was SB 250, which would create a student loan repayment program for certain assistant state attorneys and assistant public defenders.Campbell called it a good bill that provides an incentive for young lawyers to stay in their jobs longer than three years. The bill passed out of the committee unanimously, even though Sen. Rod Smith, D-Gainesville, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and the Judiciary, predicted it will become a bill without funding because of the lean budget.The proposed legislation provides that once an assistant state attorney or assistant public defender serves in that job for three years, the Justice Administrative Commission would make yearly payments of $3,000 to the student loan lender on behalf of the attorney. When an attorney completes six years of continuous service, the payment amount would be increased to $5,000. Student loan assistance would end when the loan is paid off, when the attorney completes 12 years of continuous service, or when payments made on behalf of the attorney equal $44,000.According to Senate Judiciary staff, an in-state student at Florida State University College of Law pays $5,393 a year; an out-of-state student pays $19,624 a year. FSU students are allowed to borrow as much as $18,500 per academic year, or $55,000 for the three-year law school program, according to the FSU Financial Aid Office.Law school tuition takes a giant leap at private schools, such as Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad School of Law, where tuition is $22,500 each year for a full-time student.In the end, many law school graduates simply can’t afford to work for the state trial courts.“On behalf of the Florida Public Defender Association, we very much support this bill,” said Second Circuit Public Defender Nancy Daniels. “It is a very hard reality in our offices that we lose our attorneys.”Starting salaries for assistant public defenders and assistant state attorneys were increased to $37,566 beginning December 1, 2003.“We are able to recruit these days with the starting salaries,” Daniels said, “But at the two-year mark, when their loans build up and can’t be consolidated, we lose our attorneys very regularly. Both state attorneys and public defenders suffer with very severe turnover problems. We think this would help us with recruitment and turnover. Even if the bill is passed as a substantive bill this year would be helpful, and we could tell our recruits that it is there and maybe will be funded in the future.”Smith said: “The issue, as you know, is if we fund this and it takes $600,000, that is $600,000 out of your workload. Which would you choose?”“We’d rather have both,” Daniels said with smile.“Which one would you choose?” pressed the senator and former state attorney of the Eighth Judicial Circuit.“We understand the issue there,” Daniels answered.Campbell tried to put a positive spin on the economic forecast.“The economy is heating up, according to the papers. I know the Revenue Estimating Conference says we have $500,000 more than we thought. If we can make it an unfunded law, when we have the funds, we can kick it in. I feel strongly that the third branch of government is underfunded,” Campbell said.“I hope the legislature will wake up that there are three equal branches and they all need to be funded. Maybe the prediction of Sen. Smith will not come true, and we will have a few extra bucks to help these attorneys.”Campbell said he wanted to include trial staff attorneys in the bill, as well, but those positions (which pay an annual minimum salary of $44,328) are funded through a different source — the Office of State Courts Administrator.“To keep this bill as clean as we can, we have to remove them,” Campbell said. “I will tell staff attorneys and guardian ad litem attorneys that I will work to get them the same type of assistance, hopefully, later in the process. But we can’t do it in this bill.”Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, asked about including assistant attorneys general, too.“I probably got 500 e-mails from lawyers who want to be included,” Campbell said. “But AGs aren’t funded through the same source.”Smith said while he supports the bill, he knows the state can’t afford it.“As for putting in the AGs, it doesn’t matter, because we aren’t going to fund it anyway,” Smith said. January 15, 2004 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Measure would help state attorneys, PDs with loanslast_img read more

2 more Oakland games postponed, this time at Seattle

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first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US Last Updated: 1st September, 2020 08:06 IST 2 More Oakland Games Postponed, This Time At Seattle The first two games of Oakland’s series at Seattle have been postponed to allow for additional testing and contact tracing after a member of the Athletics’ organization tested positive for the coronavirus COMMENT The first two games of Oakland’s series at Seattle have been postponed to allow for additional testing and contact tracing after a member of the Athletics’ organization tested positive for the coronavirus.The positive test already caused the postponement of Oakland’s game Sunday against the Houston Astros. Now games against the Mariners on Tuesday and Wednesday are being put off. The A’s are also scheduled to play at Seattle on Thursday.Major League Baseball said Monday it will continue to provide updates as necessary.On Sunday, the A’s said they would self-isolate in Houston. There were no details provided on whether the positive result came from a player or someone else. WATCH US LIVE LIVE TVcenter_img First Published: 1st September, 2020 08:06 IST FOLLOW US Associated Press Television News Written Bylast_img read more

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