The MSBA was a prominent and influential presence at the state Capitol during the 2015 legislative session. And though we’re waiting for the upcoming special session before we prepare a full briefing, we can report success in a variety of areas.
The MSBA successfully supported adequate funding for the justice system. The final bill provides for 4 percent raises to judges and court staff in each year of the upcoming biennium, a 7 percent funding increase for civil legal services, and a 9 percent hike in public defender funding. For that, we’d like to thank MSBA members who contributed to our grassroots efforts by contacting legislators.
In addition, MSBA lobbying efforts secured the passage of 11 bills affecting a variety of practice areas, including:
- significant family law reforms designed to lessen tension in dissolution and custody cases, through partnership with the Legal Services Advocacy Project and other stakeholders;
- protection of deployed service members in child custody matters through new legislation;
- technical modifications and important improvements for real property and business law;
- advances in probate and trust law, including a major revision of Minnesota’s trust code;
- improvements to numerous bills through technical advice and drafting assistance to prevent unintended consequences.