Newest Stimulus Bill Likely Dead but Support for Legal Aid Funding Lives
Legal aid received another $50 million boost in funding as part of the new economic stimulus bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, but while the measure is expected to stall in the U.S. Senate, support to appropriate additional money for legal services appears strong on both sides of the aisle.
LSC has estimated at least $100 million will be needed to address the anticipated spike in legal services coming as a result of the pandemic. Already, the organization received $50 million from the $2 trillion CARES Act, the stimulus package that was passed in March to stabilize households and businesses during the public health emergency.
Of the CARES money, LSC awarded more than $47 million to its grantee organizations across the country.
“The HEROES Act reflects congressional recognition that COVID-19 continues to increase enormously the life-altering civil legal needs faced by low-income Americans and that legal aid can be a game-changer in addressing those needs. The dramatic spike in legal needs caused by COVID-19 coupled with precipitous declines in state and local funding underscores the continuing need for emergency federal funding for legal aid,” said LSC President Ronald Flagg.