Ohio justice asks lawmakers to stop legal aid elimination

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court talks about the work of a court task force looking at updates to the grand jury system during a forum sponsored by The Associated Press, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. O’Connor said she’s concerned about a lack of understanding statewide in how grand juries work. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court has asked the state’s congressional delegation and two senators to stop the proposed elimination of millions in legal aid funding.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor says in a letter sent late last month she can’t think of a worse time for the proposal to get rid of the Legal Services Corporation.

The federal agency is one of several that President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating in his first budget proposal.

O’Connor, a Republican like Trump, says the agency provided $12 million of the state’s $40 million legal aid budget in 2015.

O’Connor says that one in five Ohioans qualify for legal aid services, meaning the agency’s elimination would terminate many services that economically challenged Ohioans rely on.

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