Massachusetts State House

MLAC applauds $35M for civil legal aid in FY22 Budget

Praises Gov. Baker’s support of $6M increase to aid pandemic recovery

BOSTON, July 16, 2021 – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law the FY22 budget, including $35 million to fund civil legal aid through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, line item 0321-1600. That is a $6 million increase over FY21. MLAC expresses its deep gratitude to the governor and the legislature for the funding increase.

“We are exceptionally grateful to the governor and the legislature for their leadership in recognizing that civil legal aid is an essential service, vital to the Commonwealth’s pandemic recovery,” said Lynne Parker, executive director of MLAC. “The effects of COVID-19 will be long-lasting on the most vulnerable residents of Massachusetts. Even though many visible signs of the pandemic are receding, low-income people are still experiencing profound threats to their incomes, housing, benefits, and safety. Legal aid staff continue to show great dedication and innovation in responding to the heightened need for civil legal services.”

Parker thanked members of the House and the Senate for their support of this increased funding, noting that legislators have seen firsthand during the pandemic how civil legal aid organizations across the state have helped their constituents in crisis.

She praised the Equal Justice Coalition, which has championed the work of civil legal aid, including the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association, managing partners of many of the state’s largest law firms, and advocates with social services organizations across the Commonwealth.