The other challenge, Mutchler said, is keeping up with growing demands on her staff of seven attorneys. In 2009, the office’s first year of operation, it received more than 1,100 appeals. Nearly 2,200 appeals were filed last year.

The office currently has a budget of $1.37 million. Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget for next year raises the funding to $1.4 million. But Mutchler told legislators in February that her office needs $1.8 million to cover costs and to hire another attorney.

“The danger I see is that we can’t keep up with this,” said Mutchler.

Reach Leah Samuel at 412-871-5378 or

Photo by Alexandra Kanik/PublicSource

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