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March 15, 2018
Costs for special needs children representation clears both houses

A bill to provide for the costs of pro bono attorneys who represent special needs children has passed the House and Senate.

SB 146, the final version of the Pro Bono Matters Act of 2018 worked out by the two chambers, passed the House by 109-0 on February 14. It passed the Senate on January 31 by 38-0.

The bill was intended to fix a glitch in the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office’s efforts to find volunteer attorneys to represent special needs children. Many attorneys were reluctant to volunteer because they could wind up paying for expert witnesses, depositions, and other expenses.

The bill provides that those costs can be paid by the state’s Justice Administration Commission.

[Revised: 03-20-2018]