U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves Bill Providing $550 Million for Legal Services Corporation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has approved funding legislation that provides $550 million for LSC in Fiscal Year 2020.

The designated $550 million is an increase of $135 million over LSC’s current funding and the largest appropriation proposal LSC has ever received in absolute dollars.

“We are very grateful to the House Appropriations Committee for recognizing that the Legal Services Corporation promotes the most fundamental of American values – equal justice under law,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The additional funding the Committee has recommended would allow more victims of domestic violence to obtain protection orders, more veterans to access the benefits they have earned, and more tenants to avoid unlawful evictions.”

The bill will next be considered and voted on by the House of Representatives. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet begun its Fiscal Year 2020 budget deliberations.

LSC distributes more than 93% of its funding to 132 independent legal aid organizations serving every county in every state and the territories. These legal aid offices provide critical constituent services to low-income Americans. More than 60% of all cases closed by LSC grantees involve family law matters, such as child custody, child support and adoptions, and housing matters, such as evictions and foreclosures. Last year, 58.5 million low-income Americans were eligible for LSC-funded legal assistance.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974. For 50 years, LSC has provided financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 131 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.