The constitution requires low income Iowans who are facing criminal charges the right to have a state appointed legal defense. Many of these lawyers are frustrated because they haven’t gotten paid due to the legislature’s continuing debate about the budget. Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley says he believes it’s their responsibility to make sure these, and all bills, are taken care of. He says he has voted for several bills that would allow these lawyers to get paid.
Some attorneys have threatened to stop practicing until they receive payment. Marion County Attorney Ed Bull says that would put his office and many court cases at a complete stand still.