Washington, DC—The House and Senate voted on November 17 to provide the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) with $348 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2012, a reduction of about $56 million from current funding. The funding reduction was taken from basic field grants, a cut of 14.8 percent.
The LSC funding was a part of a Fiscal 2012 appropriations bill for several federal departments and programs, including Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. President Obama signed the appropriations bill on November 18.
LSC was established by the Congress to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
LSC grants help address the civil legal needs of the elderly, veterans, victims of domestic violence, disabled individuals and others with pressing civil matters. More than 60 million Americans have incomes at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty line and qualify for civil legal assistance—an income of $13,613 for an individual and $27,938 for a family of four.