Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 6

From the Editor...
Proposed Federal Budget
Eliminates All Legal
Services Funding

"Cutting funding for this vital
program essentially denies equal
access to justice and risks the wellbeing of many vulnerable residents
in every corner of our state."

"I'm trying to think, but
nothing happens"
I was certain that this was the
official quote that accompanied
the release of the proposed
Federal Budget for fiscal year
2018 on March 16. My bad. In
fact, our awesome fact checkers
here at the Writs point out that the above quote was from
Curly Howard of the Three Stooges, while the actual quote
had something to do with keeping Americans safe.

cases, a majority of which were on behalf of women
and the elderly. LSC also helps military families and has a
website, StatesideLegal.org, specifically to provide legal
resources and assistance to veterans.
LSC distributes 90 percent of its total funding to 133
independent non-profit legal aid programs throughout the
country. One such program is Legal Aid of Southeastern PA
(LASP), which admirably serves Bucks, Chester, Delaware
and Montgomery Counties. This publication routinely and
proudly features articles on the good works of LASP and its
attorney and lay staff members and volunteers. A profile of
BCBA member Judith Rodriguez-Martyak, who for decades
has graciously donated her valuable time and expertise,
appears in this issue on page 16.

I have read many commentators' opinions on the proposed
Budget, especially with regard to the cutting of 31% of
the funding for the Environmental Protection Agency,
the complete elimination of funding for various arts and
cultural agencies as well as the Global Climate Change
Initiative, and the likely abandonment of programs such
as Meals on Wheels and LIHEAP. Yet I don't recall anyone
that equated these cuts with a general warm, fuzzy and all
around safer feeling.

According to Executive Director Elizabeth Fritsch, Esq.,
LASP receives about 25% of its budget from Legal Services
Corporation and another 20% from various other federal
programs which are also to be drastically cut or eliminated
in the proposed federal budget. Clearly, if 45% of LASP's
funding were to disappear, "thousands of southeastern
Pennsylvania residents will lose access to desperately
needed legal services."

"Legal Aid of Southeastern PA
receives about 25% of its budget
from Legal Services Corporation
and another 20% from various other
federal programs which are also to
be drastically cut or eliminated in
the proposed federal budget."

Fortunately, and almost immediately, many organizations
and individual voices were raised in support of legal aid
funding and against the proposed cuts. The American
Bar Association "is outraged" and is "calling on Congress
to restore full funding to LSC." The Pennsylvania Bar
Association points out that LSC provided nearly $12 million
to Pennsylvania's legal services organizations in 2016, representing more than 82,000 cases. "Cutting funding for this
vital program essentially denies equal access to justice and
risks the well-being of many vulnerable residents in every
corner of our state."

Legal Services Corporation (LSC), "America's Partner for
Equal Justice," is a non-profit organization established
in 1974. It is the single largest funder of civil legal aid
for low income Americans. The size of the population
financially eligible for their assistance has unfortunately
increased dramatically over the past ten years. The legal
services it provides include: family law matters and helping
victims of domestic violence; wrongful eviction, housing
and mortgage foreclosure cases; consumer issues; and
employment matters. In 2015, LSC closed over 755,000

General Counsel for some 185 corporations signed a letter
asking Congress to oppose the elimination of funding to
6


http://www.StatesideLegal.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bucks Writs - Spring 2017

Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 1
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 2
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 3
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 4
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 5
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 6
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Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 20
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 21
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 22
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 23
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 24
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 25
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 26
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 27
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 28
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Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 30
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 31
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 32
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2017
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