The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) announced last week that they it redistribute $2.43 million in taxes confiscated from working people in New York to lawyers who are prosecutors or public defenders.
The program is designed as a way to keep lawyers who are working in the public sector of the criminal justice system from leaving and going into private practice
To qualify for up to $20,400 each, an applicant must have been a New York State resident for at least one year, employed full time as a district attorney, assistant district attorney, or public defender in New York State for at least four years, and owe student loans.
According to the Tax Foundation, New York has the second highest personal state income tax rates in the United States. According to the Cato Institute, the median income for working New Yorkers is $39,562.
An assistant or deputy district attorney can earn more than $100,000 per year, although according to www.indeed.com, which lists average salaries for jobs throughout the USA, the average salary for assistant district attorney is $73,000. Federal public defenders in New York average $70,000.
The new welfare-for-lawyers program is called the NYS District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan (DALF) Program. For lawyers looking to get on the dole, details are available at HESC.ny.gov.