The House Appropriations Committee should vote Thursday to approve a “significant increase” in funding to the Legal Services Corporation, the New York State Bar Association said Thursday.
A subcommittee has proposed an $85 million cut to its current funding of $385 million, the state bar said. In New York, seven legal services providers would likely be impacted by the cuts.
“To carry out its critical mission, the corporation needs a significant increase in its rather than a cut of $85 million,” state bar president Sharon Stern Gerstman said in a statement. “Through LSC grants, local organizations help low-income Americans with critical legal needs.”
Among those receiving help from legal service providers, Gerstman said, are veterans seeking benefits, families fighting foreclosure, tenants facing homelessness, parents seeking custody, and victims of natural disasters. More than half of eligible applicants, however, services are rejected due to lack of resources.
“The need is real. It is time for Congress to recognize the need and provide adequate funding for LSC,” she said.
LSC grants help fund the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Legal Assistance of Western New York, Legal Services NYC, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee and Neighborhood Legal Services in Buffalo. Together they receive more than $20 million a year in LSC funding.