Legislative Advocacy

The Access Committee helps the state court system advocate for legislative support to improve access to justice for all by

  • drafting and advocating for legislation to improve access to justice

  • monitoring legislation that may have an effect on access to justice

  • educating legislators about access to justice issues

Established in 1997, the Access Committee has since sponsored nine legislative proposals: to provide qualified and certified court interpreters (6); to improve jury service (2); and to translate state forms (1). Six of those proposals have become law.

As noted in Jury Service Improvements, the Access Committee asked the legislature in 1999 to

  • increase mileage reimbursement amounts to jurors

  • reimburse jurors for certain hardship expenses some jurors incur, such as overnight lodging for those traveling long distances or childcare

  • increase daily compensation to jurors for service beyond two days

  • allow jurors to waive their fees and expense reimbursement and donate them to a fund designated by the Chief Justice to use to improve access to justice in state courts

The legislature adopted these improvements effective 2001. However, because of the unexpected fiscal crisis late in 2001, the legislature substantially reduced the amount that juror compensation and reimbursements would increase and postponed the effective date until January 2002. We are working with the legislature to restore the original increases when the state’s fiscal crisis abates.

2003 Legislative Session

2001 Legislative Session

1999 Legislative Session