A group of heavy hitters from the state’s legal and political arenas is making a push for an additional $6 million in civil legal aid for low-income residents in Massachusetts.

“We know this pandemic has had a devastating and disproportionate effect on low-income residents, communities of color and immigrants,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “Legal aid is a lifeline for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Healey announced last week she’s seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

She was joined at Thursday’s “Talk to the Hill” event by the SJC’s Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark and the presidents of state and local bar associations.

Speakers cited the strains introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic as a primary reason to increase the state appropriation from $35 million — the same figure as this year’s budget — to $41 million for fiscal 2023.

“This event is always important because it gives us an opportunity to address the challenges faced by people who are too often forgotten in our society: those who cannot afford legal counsel to assist them with their most basic, civil needs,” Budd said.

The appropriation would go to the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp., an organization established in 1983 “to ensure that low-income people facing critical non-criminal legal issues would have access to legal information, advice, and representation,” according to its website.

MLAC is a public-private nonprofit, said Lynne Parker, its executive director. With 57% of applicants turned away over the past year for legal aid in Massachusetts, this new request will still not get the organization “to the full need.”

Greater Boston Legal Services, a local legal aid organization funded through MLAC and other sources, had a 40% increase in service over the past year, Executive Director Jacquelynne Bowman said during the event.

MLAC reported distribution of more than $44.4 million to six regional and 10 statewide legal aid organizations in fiscal 2021, according to its annual report to lawmakers.

In addition to state appropriations, the organization received more than $6.5 million from the Interest on Lawyers Trust Account funds — a fund established in the commonwealth that puts interest on money held by lawyers for their clients to benefit charitable legal causes, according to the Massachusetts Bar Association — and more than $5.6 million from public and private grants.

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