BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts attorneys lobbied lawmakers on Beacon Hill for civil legal aid.
Massachusetts attorneys say current state funding for civil legal aid isn’t enough to meet the increasing need for service. They’re urging the legislature to increase funding by $5 million in FY19 so attorneys can support more low-income families.
Hundreds of Massachusetts attorneys walked to the State House Thursday with the Equal Justice Coalition and Massachusetts Bar Association to fight for civil legal aid.
These programs provide free legal assistance for low-income individuals and families with non-criminal legal problems relating to housing, health care, immigration, domestic violence and disability benefits.
Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court expressed the importance of programs that ensure equal access to justice.
“It has never been more important for our brothers and sisters who are poor, undocumented or displaced to have access to attorneys who can enforce and defend their rights,” Gants said.
If approved, funding for the programs would total $23 million.