Before the Trump administration follows through on its proposal to zero-out federal contributions to the Legal Services Corp., it should examine its net impact.
April 9, 2017
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Tags: Funding: Federal
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC), North Penn Legal Services (Pittston, PA)
According to a 2011 study by a state Supreme Court board that oversees investments for legal aid funding, legal aid agencies saved the state government about $23 million that year in domestic-relations costs, millions more in emergency housing costs due to the resolution of housing disputes, and brought $546 million into the state economy by resolving Social Security and Medicaid benefit disputes.
Those legal problems won’t go away with the federal money; they’ll show up in other parts of the legal system, increasing costs and delaying or denying justice while jeopardizing safety in some domestic relations cases.
Regional U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta, Tom Marino and Matt Cartwright, and Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey should work hard to ensure continued federal funding for legal aid.