Statement of NHLA Executive Director Lynne Parker on Governor Sununu budget proposal
February 9, 2017:
“On behalf of the thousands of people New Hampshire Legal Assistance helps each year, I would like to thank Governor Sununu for proposing an increase to NHLA’s state appropriation for the coming biennium.
With this additional funding, we believe we will be able to help as many as 750 additional people each year.
Our clients are victims of domestic violence seeking safety from abuse, and families fighting to avoid homelessness. They are seniors and people with disabilities trying to access the federal benefits to which they are entitled, and with which they can contribute to their local communities.
This appropriation will allow us to increase staffing in our Claremont and Berlin offices. We currently have just three attorneys and one paralegal serving the entirety of the state north and west of Concord.
The rural areas of our state have struggled to recover from the economic recession, and residents there continue to experience rates of poverty significantly higher than other parts of New Hampshire. At the same time, these impoverished rural areas have seen a significant recent decline in the number of attorneys available to provide legal services to the poor. At NHLA, we strive to fill that gap.
I applaud Governor Sununu and his administration for recognizing the value of investing in civil legal aid.”
New Hampshire Legal Assistance is a state-wide non-profit law firm representing low-income and elderly New Hampshire residents who cannot afford a lawyer. NHLA maintains offices in Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Manchester and Portsmouth. For more information about New Hampshire Legal Assistance, please contact Communications Manager Sarah Palermo at 603-369-6650.