For Immediate Release - May 22, 2017

AG Healey Leads Bipartisan Group of 32 Attorneys General Urging Congress to Oppose Elimination of Funding for Legal Services

BOSTON – Highlighting the need for legal services in rural and low-income communities across the country, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman today led a bipartisan group of 32 attorneys general in urging Congress to oppose the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

“Legal services provide an essential safety net for millions of our most vulnerable residents, including veterans applying for benefits and families escaping domestic violence,” said AG Healey. “We have to come together because we cannot turn our backs on families in need of assistance. We have organized this broad, bipartisan group to fight for access to justice for all Americans.”

“Our state attorneys general know that all Americans, rich and poor, should be treated equally under the law,” said Martha Minow, Vice Chair of the Legal Services Corporation and Dean of Harvard Law School. “That’s why, on a bipartisan basis, our chief law enforcement officers overwhelmingly support the Legal Services Corporation. They call for funding legal assistance to low-income and rural Americans, as Congress has done for more than forty years, in order to strengthen the rule of law, fairness, and human dignity. I thank Attorneys General Maura Healey, Cynthia Coffman, George Jepsen, and all 32 state AGs from across the United States who came together to make this strong, bipartisan statement of support for LSC.”

The letter, sent today to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committees, notes that for more than 40 years, under Republican and Democratic administrations, the LSC has helped residents across the nation to access justice.

LSC funding helps veterans and military families secure important benefits, it supports survivors of domestic violence seeking safety, and it assists families facing foreclosure and victims of natural disasters.

LSC funding also fosters longstanding public-private partnerships between legal aid organizations and private firms and attorneys nationwide who donate their time and skills to assist low-income residents in our states.

The letter was signed by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.