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CBA Opposes President Trump's Proposed Cuts to the Legal Services Corporation

Friday, March 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Connecticut Bar Association
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This message originally appeared as an e-mail message to CBA members from CBA President Monte E. Frank:

Today, I issued the following statement in response to President Donald J. Trump’s proposed budget, which eliminates funding to the Legal Services Corporation. The statement is consistent with longstanding Connecticut Bar Association policy strongly supporting legal aid. Please join me in standing up for our colleagues who work tirelessly to provide access to justice to our most vulnerable residents in Connecticut. The failure to fund the Legal Services Corporation will not only impact our legal aid colleagues, but will also diminish the ability to administer pro bono services. Finally, the inevitable increase in self-represented parties will have an effect on our court system and our ability to conduct our business.



President Trump’s proposed budget which eliminates federal funding to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) would hurt people across the country, including Connecticut, in need of legal aid in civil court cases. Legal Services has enjoyed bi-partisan support since its inception in 1974 and helps nearly two million people each year.  

Those impacted in Connecticut and across the nation includes veterans denied rightfully earned benefits, women trapped in abusive relationships, parents seeking custody of their children, and families facing wrongful evictions or foreclosures. Connecticut currently receives $2,555,098 in federal funding from the Legal Services Corporation. That funding translated to legal aid to 17,706 people in 2014, including 7,644 children.

The elimination of funding would be a blow to many here in Connecticut who cannot afford legal representation on their own. This cut would, in effect, deny thousands of our fellow citizens, including children, equal access to justice.

Therefore, the CBA joins the American Bar Association and many state bar associations across the United States in urging Congress to do what it has done for decades, regardless of politics, and reject this short-sighted and fundamentally unfair budget proposal from the administration. As the budget process proceeds, the CBA and its delegation to the ABA, which includes me, will be working to ensure that Congress provides adequate funding for LSC. It is cost-effective, beneficial to millions of Americans, and the right thing to do for America.



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