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The Republican Study Committee’s proposed fiscal year 2013 budget plan to “eliminate the Legal Services Corporation” ignores the overwhelming needs of struggling families for free legal advice and is remarkably shortsighted. LSC-funded aid providers annually close nearly 1 million cases, including child custody matters, foreclosures and veterans claims.
Eliminating LSC will not erase the needs of working-class families, veterans or the elderly who have no choice but to go to court. Slashing support for local legal aid groups will not help victims of natural disasters who need LSC funding to rebuild their lives. Instead, defunding LSC will place unprecedented burdens on our state courts to guide a flood of pro se litigants through complex legal channels. That will mean higher demand for already beleaguered court services, greater cost for local taxpayers and massive delay in courtrooms.
We cannot afford to make our courts even less accessible to the public. Rather than eliminating LSC, Congress should increase its investment in access to justice by appropriating $402 million for FY 2013.
Media contact: Rob Boisseau, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-662-1093.