Statement from Jo-Ann Wallace

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Statement from Jo-Ann Wallace on the Administration’s Budget and the Proposed Elimination of the Legal Services Corporation

Today the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a framework for the FY18 federal budget that recommends the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The OMB proposal would further clog courts with individuals who would be forced to represent themselves without the assistance of an attorney, and deny equal access to justice for millions of people in our country.

NLADA, the nation’s judiciary, the legal profession, and a host of other organizations are joined in our resolve to educate Congress about the critical role LSC plays in guaranteeing our nation’s promise of justice and fairness for all. Civil legal aid is integral to the effective functioning of our justice system, and to the principle that the quality of justice you receive should not depend on how much money you have.

Support for LSC has a secure foundation on Capitol Hill, and it is Congress that will have the final say on the critical spending decisions proposed by OMB. Today, there is a deep reservoir of bipartisan support for the Corporation in Congress. LSC has been targeted by a small number of ideological opponents in the past, but the powerful message of justice and fairness has always prevailed.

Lawmakers recognize the indispensable role that the federal government must play in securing equal justice for all in this country, ensuring that rural Americans, veterans, victims of natural disasters, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, and many others who face life-changing legal problems have access to fair and equitable treatment.

NLADA is resolute in our commitment and support to sustain this vital civil legal aid program, which creates real social and economic benefits for our communities. The existence of LSC ensures that the very principle our founding fathers envisioned remains alive: equal justice for all, not just the few who can afford it.

Jo-Ann Wallace
NLADA President & CEO

NLADA will keep you informed of all developments in the budget process. If you would like more information, please contact Don Saunders at [email protected].