Rhoda Bess Goodson wrote an editorial published in The News Journal discussing the effect of Governor Rick Scott’s veto of $2 million appropriated to Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance (FACLA), which is a primary source of funding for legal aid services across Florida. FACLA, which was formed by the Florida legislature in 2002, had previously received annual funding in amounts of up to $2.5 million. Goodson explained that Governor Scott’s veto will contribute to a 30% decrease in the number of legal aid attorneys statewide next year.
Rhoda Bess Goodson currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF). CLSMF serves twelve counties and works to “put justice in everyone’s reach” by providing high quality legal assistance to low-income people in civil (non-criminal) matters. Each office of CLSMF has a managing attorney, staff attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, and highly qualified administrative and support staff members. The funding that was cut will mean the loss of two or three attorneys at CLSMF.