June 9, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC -- The House Appropriations Committee today voted to provide the Legal Services Corporation with $440 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2010. The bill would increase LSC's budget by $50 million.
Under the House bill, most of the funding -- $414.4 million -- would be distributed to 137 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 900 offices that deliver legal assistance to low-income individuals and families across the nation.
Recent increases in appropriations for LSC are "indicative of the rising need for legal support for the poor, particularly as mortgage fraud and the housing crisis imperil these vulnerable people," Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.) said today in introducing the Fiscal 2010 appropriations bill that includes LSC funding.
Rep. Mollohan chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees LSC funding; the ranking member is Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.). The full House Appropriations Committee is chaired by Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.) and the ranking member is Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.).
"The Legal Services Corporation deeply appreciates the strong support of the House Appropriations Committee," LSC President Helaine M. Barnett said. "Today's funding decision will help LSC-funded programs to better serve low-income individuals and families, especially when many poor Americans are at greater risk of losing jobs, housing and access to health care because of the recession. We are grateful for the Committee's support."
In addition to providing funds for the delivery of legal assistance, the House bill would provide $3.4 million for LSC's Technology Initiative Grants program, which supports innovative uses of technology that increase access to legal information and expand services to clients, and $1 million for the Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which helps legal services programs recruit and retain talented attorneys.
The House bill also would provide $17 million for Management & Grants Oversight and $4.2 million for the Office of Inspector General.
LSC is the single largest provider of civil legal assistance for the poor in the nation. Established by Congress in 1974, LSC operates as a private, nonprofit organization to promote equal access to justice and to provide high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.