Missouri’s system of providing legal help for people too poor to hire their own lawyers faces a funding crisis. And, the State Senate has approved a plan that will help, but still won’t meet all the needs. The largest part of cases handled by the state’s five legal aid offices focus on domestic violence. Much of the funding for those programs has come from Washington – about $7-Million a year, with some money from the state. But federal money is being cut off, and the state is in a big financial hole. Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit proposes increeases in court fees – everything from another $8 in court fees for speeding tickets to an additional $20 to file a case before the Supreme Court. Bartle has gotten his bill through the Senate. But it still has to run the gauntlet in the House.
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