Attorney General Josh Shapiro Joins Bipartisan Group of 32 Attorneys General Opposing Elimination of Funding for Legal Services

May 25, 2017 | Topic: Rights

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined a bipartisan group of 32 Attorneys General urging Congress to oppose the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation. Approximately 100,000 Pennsylvanians receive legal aid representation each year, and a total of 1.9 million Pennsylvanians are income-eligible to receive legal aid.

“Legal services provide a critical safety net for 100,000 Pennsylvanians when they need legal representation,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “I’m standing with a bipartisan group of my colleagues from both parties and urging Congress to reject this ill-advised attempt to eliminate funding for legal services in our Commonwealth and our country.”

The letters to Congress signed by Attorney General Shapiro and his 32 attorneys general colleagues were sent to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The letters detail the history of federal support for legal services, which provides representation to income-eligible citizens for a wide variety of matters, including helping veterans and military families secure benefits, supporting survivors of domestic violence seeking safety, families facing mortgage foreclosure and victims of natural disaster, among many issues. Click here to read the letters.

Legal Services funding also helps foster public — private partnerships between legal aid organizations and private attorneys and firms nationally who donate their skills to assist income-eligible clients across the country.

“Everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law, and that includes receiving legal counsel,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “The bipartisan nature of this coalition of attorneys general shows the wide measure of support for the Legal Services Corporation. Congress should reject any attempt to eliminate federal support for it.”

In addition to Attorney General Shapiro, the letter was signed by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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