AG Coffman Fights for Legal Services Funding for Vulnerable Coloradans
Denver – Highlighting the need for legal services in rural and low-income communities across the country, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey are leading a bipartisan group of 32 attorneys general urging Congress to oppose the proposed elimination of federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).
In a letter sent to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committees, the attorneys general noted that for more than 40 years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the LSC has helped veterans and military families secure important benefits, supported survivors of domestic violence seeking safety, and assisted families facing foreclosure and victims of natural disasters.
“The legal services provided by LSC are critical for low-income and vulnerable citizens in Colorado and for millions of people across the country,” said Attorney General Coffman. “As a bipartisan group of attorneys general we have joined together to speak up for those people who need access to these services in order to protect their rights.”
“Colorado Legal Services currently receives 40 percent of our annual funding from the Legal Services Corporation,” said Jonathan D. Asher, Executive Director of Colorado Legal Services. “The elimination of LSC funding would be devastating, and would seriously jeopardize our ability to help provide low-income Coloradans with the civil legal services they need to ensure the health, safety and stability of themselves and their families.”
“Our state attorneys general know that all Americans, rich and poor, should be treated equally under the law,” said Martha Minow, Vice Chair of the Legal Services Corporation and Dean of Harvard Law School. “That’s why, on a bipartisan basis, our chief law enforcement officers overwhelmingly support the Legal Services Corporation. They call for funding legal assistance to low-income and rural Americans, as Congress has done for more than forty years, in order to strengthen the rule of law, fairness, and human dignity. I thank Attorneys General Maura Healey, Cynthia Coffman, George Jepsen, and all 32 state AGs from across the United States who came together to make this strong, bipartisan statement of support for LSC.”
LSC funding also fosters longstanding public-private partnerships between legal aid organizations and private firms and attorneys nationwide who donate their time and skills to assist low-income residents.
The letter was signed by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
A copy of the letter sent to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations is attached.
Colorado Attorney General’s Office