PORTLAND — A budget shortfall for the state commission that provides legal services to the poor is resulting in delays in payment to lawyers representing needy clients in criminal, juvenile and child-protection cases.

Vouchers submitted by lawyers Tuesday or later will not be paid until the fiscal year that begins July 1, according to Ron Schneider, chairman of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services.

He said the commission estimates it will run out of money for payments around the last week of May.

Schneider said the commission has been dealing with shortfalls that roll over from year to year. He estimates this fiscal year will end with a shortfall of about $640,000.