Yesterday the New York Times published an editorial regarding the funding of legal aid organizations across the country.
Also lost in the wrangling over the huge House economic measure were two programs for the poor that are in urgent need of Congressional attention: legal services and access to family planning.
The proven national program of civil legal aid for impoverished Americans, created in the 1960s, is suffering from multiple blows in funding. While the poor are caught increasingly by foreclosure, eviction and food-stamp fights for their daily bread, deficit-bedeviled statehouses across the country are cutting support for legal services or dropping the programs outright.
Creative funding that taps lawyers’ escrow accounts has evaporated because it is tied to the Fed’s fading interest rate. Local governments, charities and pro bono law firms are similarly tight-pursed. Scores of legal aid societies are cutting their staffs just as requests for help are booming, according to The Times’s Erik Eckholm.
To read the entire editorial, click here.