$28 Million Increase for LSC Approved by House Appropriations Committee

Jul 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from Legal Services Corporation

    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