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Stephen Zack makes a heartfelt plea for $450 million.

ABA president urges Congress to fund legal aid

Tim Llewellyn)

Stephen Zack (Photo: Tim Llewellyn)

In written testimony submitted to the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies today, American Bar Association President Stephen N. Zack called on Congress to fund the Legal Services Corporation at $450 million, citing increased need for assistance for the poor and working class during tough economic times.

“Appropriations for the Legal Services Corporation is not just about funding another federal agency. This is about providing legal services for the 57 million Americans at or below the poverty line, including 19 million children, who are eligible for assistance,” said Zack.

Zack added that the most important issues on the minds of every American are jobs and the economic climate.

“Programs like LSC that keep working class and poor people from falling into a legal and financial tailspin are essential,” he said. “Every cent spent helping families deal with crises such as eviction, child support and custody, or a domestic violence restraining order ultimately saves taxpayer money.”

Zack also noted that a basic promise of American democracy was at risk, testifying that “President Washington wrote that ‘The due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government.’ However, many different indicators show that poor and working class Americans are not getting the legal aid they need.”

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