Access to justice in the 2024 NYS judiciary budget | 2023 NYS Legislative Agenda
The City Bar is deeply committed to increasing access to justice and ensuring adequate resources for our justice system. Robust civil legal services funding remains critically important for rebuilding a post-pandemic New York. We support the civil legal services funding proposed by the Judiciary in its FY 2024 budget. The Judiciary’s commitment to stable funding for civil legal services has been and will continue to be vital for civil justice providers in New York. The need for this funding has only become more apparent as New York continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact. This devastation has manifested in even greater need for civil legal assistance addressing unemployment and other public benefits; small business dislocation; landlord/tenant and other housing issues, including the unique challenges faced by those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; and consumer credit problems. In short, the pandemic confirmed both the need for nonprofit civil legal services like those provided by the City Bar Justice Center and other providers – as well as the importance of cross-leveraging subject matter expertise to creatively address new and emerging needs, such as those created by a deepening digital divide, an immigration crisis, and a fast-growing senior population facing increased poverty. The Judiciary’s commitment to funding civil legal services translates into healthier and more stable communities, homes and families, a reduction in the number of unrepresented parties in court, and in some instances keeps cases out of court altogether, and enhances access to federal benefits. We urge the Legislature and Governor to maintain support of adequate funding for civil legal services in the budget.