Last month, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its 2019 budget proposal and you stood with us to defend Massachusetts’ most vulnerable populations.
We need your help once again.
Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, and there is plenty of good news to go around! The Senate Committee has recommended $3,300,000 for services and support for unaccompanied homeless youth, a massive increase from last year’s $675,000! Additionally, the Senate has recommended the full $2.6 million in funding necessary for the expansion of the Housing Court!
Your ongoing support has shown our legislators that they need to prioritize these issues. Let’s remind them once more about the importance of access to justice! We’re asking you to join us again and raise your voice in support of civil legal aid.
Civil legal aid programs across the state are forced to turn away nearly 45,000 people each year due to lack of funding.
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), the largest provider of legal aid services in the state, has requested an additional $5 million in state support this year to meet the unmet need of legal services for low-income folks.
The Senate Ways and Means’ budget includes $19 million in funding for MLAC, which is $1 million less than the House’s budget and still short of MLAC’s request of $5 million in additional funding.
Without full funding, civil legal aid programs will be forced to turn away thousands more people in need of representation.
Senator Creem and Senator Brownsberger will be filing an amendment to increase funding by $4 million, for a total of $23 million. This amendment is an important step in providing access to justice for some of the most at-risk residents in Massachusetts.
Action You Can Take:
Contact your state senator TODAY to ask them to co-sponsor Senators Creem and Brownsberger’s amendment for civil legal aid.
Don’t wait! The deadline to file amendments is Monday, May 14th at NOON!
As the second budget battle of the season commences, I want to thank you once again for your continued commitment to our work. With your help, we can guarantee greater civil legal support for low-income families and individuals in 2019.
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