THE Public Defender Service Corporation yesterday asked for a 9 percent increase in its budget for Fiscal Year 2013.
During its budget hearing yesterday, PDSC requested a budget of $4.1 million for FY2013, $330,088 more than the $3.7 million it requested last year.
The agency’s administrative office took a lesser part of the budget, while more funding was allotted for staff and employee benefits. Additional staff is being hired to accommodate an increasing caseload.
Also, more funds are going to be used to purchase more malpractice and content insurance.
“Lawyers with crushing caseloads, through no fault of their own, provide second-rate services, because it is just not humanly possible for them to do otherwise,” executive director Eric Blas said.
Compared to other agencies that have requested budget increases in the millions, the Public Defenders Services Corporation has proposed a budget increase of mere thousands.
“We have always been a frugal and fiscally responsible agency and have never made frivolous demands,” administrative director Bernadette Chargualaf stated, adding the agency strives to live within their own means.