Washington, DC— The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) today marked up funding legislation that provides $328 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in Fiscal Year 2013.
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) both spoke on behalf of LSC. In a statement, Rep. Dicks said: “The Legal Services Corporation is also cut when it should be getting an increase. The recession has drastically increased the need for legal aid for those who can’t afford it, and the LSC helps to ensure that access to justice is not limited to those who can afford an attorney.”
Rep. Serrano noted that the appropriation for Legal Services cannot meet the need, and stated that the LSC appropriation should be at least $402 million as approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, and recommended by the White House.
Most of LSC’s funding is used to support local nonprofit organizations via grants for the delivery of civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
LSC funding was approximately $404 million in Fiscal Year 2011 before falling to $348 million in Fiscal Year 2012.
Established by Congress in 1974, LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal assistance in the nation. LSC grants help address the civil legal needs of the elderly, victims of domestic violence, veterans seeking benefits to which they are entitled, persons with disabilities, tenants facing unlawful evictions, and other civil matters.