WASHINGTON, July 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the House
Appropriations Committee approved a $28 million increase for the Legal
Services Corporation (LSC) as part of its Commerce, Justice, Science, and
Related Agencies (CJS) funding bill for FY 2008. This increase would bring
funding for the Corporation to a total of $377 million. LSC is an
independent, non-profit Corporation created by the Congress in 1974 to
promote equal access to justice and to provide high-quality civil legal
assistance to low-income Americans. The 8 percent increase for the
Corporation is the second consecutive annual increase and would represent a
$50 million gain over two years.
The bill passed the committee with a unanimous vote and is expected to
go to the House floor prior to the August 6 recess.
Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) today reiterated his June
11 statement that he is "proud" of this support for LSC. Congressman Rodney
Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), ranking member, has remained supportive throughout
this year's process.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted favorably on a 12 percent or
$41.4 million increase for LSC in its meeting of June 28.
These proposed increases are, in part, recognition of LSC's
groundbreaking report, Documenting the Justice Gap: The Current Unmet Civil
Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, which was completed in September 2005.
The Justice Gap Report documents that nationwide, for every eligible person
helped by LSC- funded programs, another is turned away. Fifty percent of
those actually seeking help are turned away for one primary reason: lack of
"On behalf of the additional tens of thousands of people the proposed
budget increase would enable LSC-funded programs to help, I thank
Congressmen Alan Mollohan, Rodney Freylinghusen, David Obey, Jerry Lewis,
and the entire Committee for their support," said LSC President Helaine M.
The main source of funding for civil legal aid, LSC gives grants to
independent, local programs -- in 2007, 138 programs with more than 900
offices nationwide. Grants are awarded through a competitive process. The
size of the grant is based on the number of people living in poverty in a
given state or geographic service area.
LSC's bipartisan, 11-member Board of Directors is appointed by the
President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate.
SOURCE Legal Services Corporation