The Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York State

Agencies in Syracuse that provide services to vulnerable residents are finding that they, themselves, might be vulnerable to severe cuts in funding under President Trump’s budget blueprint.  It appears to be the latest dip on the roller coaster of federal support.

Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Syracuse Mason Kaufman knows the massive increase in military spending has to come from somewhere, but the questions is where.

"Why Meals on Wheels programs, who have been struggling with funding provided by the government over the past decade."

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Eight protesters were arrested outside Governor Cuomo's office Tuesday, as they demonstrated for more money for legal aid services for the state's poorest.

Protesters chanted “what do we want? Lawyers”, and blockaded an entrance to Governor Cuomo’s suite of offices at the Capitol.

After years of what critics say was underfunding legal aid for New York’s lowest income people, the Senate and Assembly passed a bill in 2016 to create a state funded system to ensure that indigent criminal defendants receive legal representation, as is their right under the U.S. Constitution.

  New York State is putting more money this year into helping residents get federal disability benefits.  This is a help for those who need the financial assistance and the state and local communities benefit as well. 

Many New Yorkers are denied when they apply for federal disability assistance.  The recourse is an appeal – which can take years and require extensive legal paperwork.  Dan Altwarg is senior managing attorney at Legal Aid Society of Mid- New York which helps a broad range of people navigate those waters.