Statement Of NYCLA President James B. Kobak, Jr., On Funding For The Legal Services Corporation

Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 00:00

"The New York County Lawyers Association strongly opposes the House Appropriation Committee's proposed $75 million in cuts to the Legal Services Corporation. At a time when 57 million Americans are eligible for the civil legal services provided by the LSC, a decrease in funding of this magnitude will prevent the growing number of low-income individuals and families from benefiting from representation when they are faced with the loss of their homes, their financial resources and an array of other significant legal problems.

"State and local funding cuts compound the problem of increased need for legal assistance. In New York City, 240,000 consumer debt cases were filed in 2009, eclipsing the number of housing court cases. Needy New Yorkers already overwhelm the resources of the legal services providers and pro bono programs sponsored by NYCLA and other bar associations.

"Federal funding must be maintained at levels that support the values of our Constitution and a commitment to access to justice for all. Providing such funding is good social policy, sound economic policy and responsible legislative policy."