Proposed expansion would cost $8.8 million and hire more than three dozen public defenders.
Maine’s constitution says people in guardianships with mental illness cannot vote. Voters can change that in November.
Secretary of State Shenna Bellows urges approval of a ballot question that would eliminate "antiquated" language that is "not even legally enforceable."
Advocates complain that defendants are being denied lawyers or assigned attorneys who aren’t up to the job.
Lawmakers have scheduled an Oct. 25 meeting with the department to explain how it handles guardianships and how it will comply with notification requirements.
The lawmakers say "tragic" deaths uncovered by a Maine Monitor investigation show the need for an independent inspector general and advocacy office.
Underfunded system negatively affects attorneys and indigent defendants in Maine, report says.
Justice Michaela Murphy says proposed agreement in ACLU’s lawsuit would not be “judicially enforceable."