NYS Legislative Agenda: Support the Judiciary’s 2020-21 Budget Request, including adequate funding for civil legal services

Support the Judiciary’s 2020-21 Budget Request, Including Adequate Funding for Civil Legal Services

The City Bar supports the Judiciary Budget Request, including its inclusion of funding for civil legal services.  This budget will allow the Chief Judge to implement the laudable goals of the Excellence Initiative and to help ensure equal access to justice for low income New Yorkers facing housing, consumer debt and other legal problems pertaining to the essentials of life. Adequately funded legal services help domestic violence victims, senior citizens, and the formerly incarcerated seeking reentry into society, as well as other vulnerable individuals and families.  For every dollar invested in civil legal services, the State of New York receives more than ten dollars in economic benefits as a result of reduced social services and other public expenditures, as well as an inflow of federal benefits. Providing counsel to these needy New Yorkers also contributes to the overall efficiency of court proceedings and helps to secure a more just result.  Civil legal services provide an essential safety net to those New Yorkers most at risk and limits hardships that are often more burdensome on government in the long run.