Budget holds up attorneys pay - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Budget holds up attorneys pay

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Lawyers who represent poor Iowans accused of crimes are being held financial hostages to the legislature's budget wrangling. 

The delay will add to the state's unpaid bills for defending the indigent because 1% interest must be paid monthly on bills more than 6 weeks past due. 

The current total past due for more than six weeks is $40,000. In a few weeks, that total could hit $2.6 million, which would cost the state $26,000 a month in interest. 

Without lawyers to represent them, defendants could escape prosecution because the state is not providing speedy trials.

 

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