LSC funding takes critical hit as ABA meets in Atlanta
As the American Bar Association met for its Midyear Meeting in Atlanta, House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers called for cuts in LSC funding, cuts that would effectively cut Legal Service Corporation’s spending for the remainder of the year by a staggering 28 percent … or at least $10 million less a month to help struggling families around the country.
Legal Services Corporation funding is critically important to the many families in our economy lacking resources to hire legal representation. “Slashing funds that keep working class and poor people from falling into a legal and financial tailspin is not the right decision in this economy,” ABA President Stephen N. Zack asserted in hearing of the funding cut proposal.
He continued by saying that, “Every cent spent helping families deal with crises such as eviction, child support and custody, or a domestic violence restraining order ultimately saves taxpayer money. Financial and emotional costs grow when problems go unsolved.”
While difficult decisions need to be made relative to federal spending, “in today’s economy, it is more important than ever that we help those who are struggling financially from falling into deeper crisis,” Zack said.
The Obama administration has since proposed a $450 million funding level for fiscal year 2012.
The LSC funding discussion led the ABA to bring a late-filed resolution (10(E)) before its policymaking House of Delegates, opposing any funding cut in the program and urging Congress to support increased funding levels to the point necessary to provide needed services to low-income Americans. The new policy was adopted by a unanimous vote.
Proponents of the resolution who spoke in support of it before the House encouraged delegates to do their part by contacting members of Congress and working with others to get the word out about the importance of legal services programs.