Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Statement on Proposed Cuts to Federal Legal Aid Funding
BOSTON, March 16, 2017—The proposed budget by President Donald Trump, released this morning by the White House Office of Management and Budget, would eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and several other federal programs that provide vital safety net services to low-income people here in Massachusetts and across the United States. Lonnie Powers, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation offered the following statement in response:
“LSC distributes grants to civil legal aid organizations that provide legal advice and representation to low-income individuals facing serious civil legal problems related to housing, employment, domestic violence, health care, and education, among other issues. The elimination of funding for LSC, coupled with cuts to other programs that help poor and elderly residents secure food and water, heat, housing, employment, economic opportunity, and safe workplaces, would have devastating and long-lasting consequences on the stability of individuals, families, and communities across our state and our country. The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation remains dedicated to the promise of equal justice for all, and will continue to support legal aid programs across the Commonwealth as they work to provide much-needed civil legal services to our state’s most vulnerable residents.”
The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts.