BOSTON (WWLP) – The Equal Justice Coalition helps people who can’t afford an attorney get the legal advice they need. The group relies heavily on state funding and they’re pushing for more money this year.
As budget season approaches, the Equal Justice Coalition hopes state lawmakers will back their efforts for more state funding. The group helps people with low-income gain access to legal advice or an attorney for cases that aren’t criminal in nature.
State funding for the initiative has dropped significantly over the years, and as a result, the group has had to turn more than 54-thousand people away. The Equal Justice Coalition is pushing for fourteen and a half million dollars in state funding for the fiscal year that begins in July.
The group says for every one dollar the state spends on civil legal aid, up to five dollars return in benefits; from preventing foreclosures to helping people in domestic violence situations.
According to Lonnie Powers of Mass. Legal Assistance Corp., “If the governor wants to close the budget gap, what better way could he do it than investing in money that would come back five times over to the Commonwealth?”
Governor Baker has until the end of February to craft the fiscal 2016 budget. The Massachusetts House and Senate will follow with their versions.