Virginia legal services’ attack on the Virginian is taking its toll on the state’s healthcare system, which has become a major financial lifeline for the city.
Lawyers for the Virginia state government have filed a lawsuit against the Commonwealth’s Office of Legal Services, claiming the state government is failing to adequately fund legal services in Virginia and failing to provide adequate funding for legal services to Virginians.
“This lawsuit is a serious assault on the people of Virginia and its residents, and it is particularly harmful to the Virginians who are paying the bills,” said the lawsuit filed Thursday by the state attorney general’s office and the Commonwealth.
“This lawsuit seeks to hold the Commonwealth accountable for failing to properly fund legal assistance for the state of Virginia.”
The state’s legal services office responded with a letter saying the lawsuit is “premature, without merit, and without merit as to the actual costs of litigation, and is not appropriate.”
“We have no information as to whether the legal service is in fact in short supply in Virginia,” the letter said.
The legal services letter also noted the Virginia Department of Health has cut $50 million from its budget in the past three years, a $50,000 cut the department said it is investigating.
The state says the legal services cut was part of the state budget “cut” last year.
Legal services office staff said in their letter that the cuts have resulted in a reduction in funding for the Office of Family, Child and Medical Services, which helps families with children and low-income adults navigate state and federal court systems.
The legal office has also filed a separate lawsuit against Gov.
Terry McAuliffe, alleging the governor has failed to make certain legal services are funded.
McAuliffe has said he is in the process of putting together a legal services budget, which he says will be in place by the end of June.
The lawsuit also seeks to remove the governor from office.
Lawyers said the Virginia legislature has a “clear and unambiguous mandate” to ensure legal services for Virginians are properly funded.