Oped by the president of the Oregon State Bar, who is concerned that, "Oregon’s legal aid system is woefully underfunded.... All four of Oregon’s legal aid providers have lost considerable funding."
March 6, 2014
Link to oped
Tags: Legal Needs
Oregon’s legal aid system is woefully underfunded. The state’s poverty population has risen almost 62 percent, and the funding has not kept pace. All four of Oregon’s legal aid providers have lost considerable funding and are trying desperately to meet increasing needs with fewer resources.
The result? The current system meets only 15 percent of the need for civil legal services for Oregon’s poor. This is both unjust and foolish on a policy level. Denying help to those in need of legal services keeps individuals and families in crisis; often with an accompanying risk of serious physical harm. This results in immeasurable costs to communities throughout Oregon.
The bill that went down Thursday would have created a potentially significant funding source for legal aid at no cost to the taxpayer. The vote was a disappointment, but perhaps it provides a new starting point.