Florida’s legal aid societies are slowly crumbling. This society is in place to assist the poor in battling foreclosures and evictions and collecting government benefits. However, Florida’s legal aid societies are in peril. Due to financial cuts from the state, local governments, and the Florida Bar Foundation the organization might not be allowed to remain open for much longer.
There have been lawyers furloughed, as well as pay cuts, in order to allow the program to run for a while longer. It all started once the Federal Reserve lowered the interest rates to nearly nothing. This was a devastating hit since the interests were being used to fund the legal aid groups. Once this happened, the groups had to start tapping on their reserve funds.
Some law groups are better equipped to deal with the extreme budget cuts. This is because they are receiving Federal Grants, such as the offices in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough County. While others have had to let go of several attorneys and staff members to accommodate the budget cut. Broward and Collier’s counties have been one of those groups who’ve had to make drastic cuts. And, who had to disband its housing unit, with the exception of pro-bono cases and foreclosures.
In the U.S. there are three states that do not receive money from their state to fund these legal groups. Florida is one of them. Some of the more populated states such as New York or Texas received at least $40 million for their legal groups.
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