The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) today commended Congress, particularly the New York State delegation, for providing an increase in funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).
The omnibus spending bill approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives this week and signed by the President today includes $410 million for the LSC. An initial funding proposal advanced last year included only $385 million for the LSC.
“When I and other NYSBA leaders went to Capitol Hill last month to lobby our Congressional delegation, funding for LSC was one of the most important and pressing issues we discussed,” said NYSBA President Sharon Stern Gerstman. “We are pleased that our message was heard and that LSC will be able to continue to provide access to our legal system for low-income New Yorkers.”
The LSC helps ensure that all Americans have access to a lawyer and the justice system for civil legal issues, regardless of their ability to pay, by providing competitive grant funding to independent local legal services programs.
“Legal services providers supported by LSC grants in New York protect the rights of veterans returned from war who are denied benefits they earned while defending our country, families facing loss of their homes to foreclosure, tenants who face homelessness as a consequence of evictions, parents at risk of losing custody of their children, victims of natural disasters, and many other New Yorkers,” Gerstman added.
Seven legal services providers in New York currently receive in excess of $20 million a year to assist state residents. Well over half of the eligible applicants for their services are rejected due to lack of resources.
The New York legal services providers receiving LSC grants are:
• Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York (Utica)
• Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (Albany)
• Legal Assistance of Western New York (Geneva)
• Legal Services NYC (New York City)
• Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (White Plains)
• Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee (Hempstead)
• Neighborhood Legal Services (Buffalo)
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
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