Senate Republican Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUSTA – Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Waldo) has appointed Senator Lisa Keim (R-Oxford), Chair of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, as Senate Chair of the Working Group to Improve the Provision of Indigent Legal Services, effective immediately.
This working group was established within the biennial budget to study indigent legal services in Maine and will consist of 11 members, including two members appointed by the Senate President, two members appointed by the Speaker of the House and other stakeholders.
Findings and recommendations are due to the Judiciary Committee no later than December 6, 2017. Based on this report, the Judiciary Committee may report out a bill during the Second Legislative Session, which begins in January of next year.
“As chair of the committee that oversees indigent legal services in Maine, Senator Keim’s appointment as chair of this important working group was an easy choice to make,” said Senate President Thibodeau. “I am confident she will approach this task with the same professionalism and work ethic that I have seen from her time and time again in Augusta.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this group and dive deeper into the issues that have plagued the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services,” said Sen. Keim. “Quality representation is crucial for low-income Mainers in need of legal services. It is unacceptable to continue to put these services at risk with avoidable funding gaps, and it is unacceptable to continue to expect those representing these cases to work for long periods of time without pay.
“This fundamental system is in dire need of reform. I am confident that together we will find solutions to greatly improve this program.”