BOSTON, July 26, 2018— Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed the FY19 Budget of the Commonwealth, which includes $21.04 million for civil legal aid through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation—a $3.04 million increase over FY18. The following is a statement from Lonnie Powers, executive director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation:
“We thank Governor Baker for approving this important funding increase for civil legal aid. We are deeply grateful for his leadership, and for his recognition of the urgent need to address the overwhelming demand for assistance among our state’s low-income residents. With this funding increase, civil legal aid organizations across the state will be able to help thousands more people who otherwise would not receive assistance in resolving serious civil legal issues that threaten their health, safety, and financial stability. The FY19 Budget of the Commonwealth helps Massachusetts deliver on the promise of equal justice for all.
“In addition to the Governor, his cabinet, and his staff, we thank the Massachusetts legislature for voting to increase funding for civil legal aid. The broad support we received from the House and Senate and from members of both parties truly demonstrates the impact legal aid makes in every corner of the state. We are also grateful to the many supporters of civil legal aid who advocated for this increase, including our legislative champions, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, numerous county and specialty bar associations, managing partners at many of the state’s largest law firms, business leaders, and our social service partners. Their collective advocacy exemplifies the Commonwealth’s commitment to the principles of justice, fairness, and compassion, and we are fortunate to count them as allies. Our shared success is an important step towards the goal of ensuring that all people—regardless of income—have access to legal advice and representation.”
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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. For more information, please visit: www.mlac.org.