July 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC -- The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies approved a $430 million Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) today.
The funding increase was announced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is the Subcommittee's ranking member.
"LSC greatly appreciates the support of Senator Mikulski, Senator Shelby, and other members of the Appropriations Subcommittee. The nonprofit legal aid programs funded by LSC report increased requests for legal assistance, particularly in the areas of unemployment and housing, including foreclosure. This new funding approved by the Subcommittee will help legal aid programs meet the challenge of providing services to low-income Americans," LSC President Victor M. Fortuno said.
Last month, the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees LSC funding approved $440 million, or a $20 million increase, for Fiscal Year 2011. President Obama's budget request recommended an increase to $435 million for 2011. Sen. Mikulski noted at the bill mark-up that the Senate panel is working with a funding allocation that is $400 million below the White House budget request and that many accounts had to be adjusted accordingly.
The annual LSC budget includes basic field grants that provide for the delivery of civil legal assistance, technology grants, an education loan repayment program for the recruitment and retention of lawyers, and grants oversight to ensure compliance and accountability by legal aid programs.
LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal aid in the nation, and currently distributes grants to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs across the country. Established in 1974, LSC operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to promote equal access to justice and to provide for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.