Eliminating the Legal Services Corp., one of 19 agencies slated for federal defunding in President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal, would cut budgets for Northeast Ohio's legal aid groups by about 30% each.
News Story (Ohio)
Crain’s Cleveland Business
April 2, 2017
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Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Aid (Central Northeast Ohio), Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
But the financial impact would be even greater than the direct federal funding lost because those dollars are used to attract additional money.
That loss of federal funding could be devastating to these nonprofit groups, who exclusively serve low-income individuals who can’t otherwise afford legal representation when they’re evicted from their homes, sued by payday lenders or trying to divorce an abusive spouse, among other cases legal aid groups often help with.
“Primarily, this would affect our ability to carry out our mission,” said Steven McGarrity, executive director of Community Legal Aid, which serves eight counties in central Northeast Ohio, including Portage, Summit and Trumbull. “Everybody deserves justice. But there is no right to counsel in civil law cases. So we are the only way low-income people have access to the court system in many cases.”