BOSTON, July 18, 2017 – The FY18 Budget of the Commonwealth, signed yesterday by Governor Baker, includes level funding for civil legal aid at $18 million. Lonnie Powers, executive director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, offered the following statement in response:
“We appreciate Governor Baker’s recognition that civil legal aid is a vital resource for our state’s low-income individuals and families. The 14 programs across the state funded by the civil legal aid line item support our state’s most vulnerable residents as they face serious civil legal issues related to domestic violence, health care, elder abuse, housing, employment, and the rights of disabled children and adults.
“We remain committed to working for equal justice for all in the Commonwealth, and will continue our efforts to protect and increase needed funding for civil legal aid. In addition to the governor and his staff, we offer thanks to the many individuals and groups that work with us including our legislative champions, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, county and specialty bar associations, our social services endorsers, and the many people across the state who spoke in support of civil legal aid funding.”
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.