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Mike Bryant
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Poll Suggests That American’s Support Legal Aid Funding

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This week, the American Bar Association released a poll which found that two thirds of the American’s polled believed that there should be public funding of legal aid. These are the state and local groups which help poor people involved in civil cases, including domestic violence, child custody, housing foreclosures, veterans and Social Security benefits, consumer problems and health issues.

Such finds are heartening, not only to see that people recognize the help that is needed, but also that it is seen as something important. It is clear that with the present economic times, the number of people who need the help is growing. In March, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced a bill that would nearly double the budget for Legal Services. Congress originally created these services 35 years ago, and lifted restrictions on the kinds of cases legal aid lawyers can file.

These groups are important not only in providing representation, but also coordinating the lawyers who do the work. It is vital to the protection of people rights that these organization be properly funded.