While the governor’s proposal called for spending $83.5 billion, a record amount, he couldn’t spare a dime for legal assistance for Floridians who can’t afford to hire lawyers in civil court, where noncriminal cases are handled.
February 3, 2017
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Tags: Access to Justice Commissions, Funding: State & Local
Organizations mentioned/involved: Florida Bar Foundation
Commissioned by The Florida Bar Foundation, the study concluded that every dollar spent on civil legal aid for lower-income Floridians yields more than $7 in benefits. As Bar Foundation President Matthew Brenner said, “Equal justice under law is not only a basic underpinning of our democracy; it’s also good economic policy.”
In short, it’s a better deal for taxpayers to invest at the front end to help fellow Floridians solve problems in civil court, instead of paying more to deal with the consequences to the state’s economy of unsolved problems at the back end. This same logic would apply — and should appeal — to other potential legal aid contributors, including the business community and nonprofits.