Legal Service Corp. requests substantial boost in funding to meet growing need

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In the budget released March 4, the White House recommended the Legal Services Corp. receive a federal appropriation of $430 million for the fiscal year 2015.

LSC, the national agency that provides funding to legal aid offices around the U.S. including to Indiana Legal Services, applauded President Barack Obama’s proposed 18 percent increase over current funding. Along with the appropriation, Obama’s budget contains a new $56 billion “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative” which will give additional support to legal aid.

“The President clearly understands the importance of adequately funding civil legal assistance, even in these tough financial times,” said LSC Board Chairman John Levi.  

However, the administration requested $430 million for fiscal year 2014, but Congress appropriated $365 million.

While the congressional appropriation gave a welcomed increase over the $340 million allotted in FY 2013, the LSC pointed out if funding had kept pace with inflation, the agency’s appropriation this year would top $600 million.

The same day the White House unveiled its budget, the LSC asked Congress for a higher increase to $486 million for the coming FY 2015. This is the same level of support it requested the year before.

“Our request to Congress balances record-high demand for civil legal aid against the realities of the federal budget environment,” said LSC president James Sandman.

Nearly 93 percent of the proposed appropriation, more than $451 million, would be devoted to basic field grants that fund the delivery of civil legal assistance to low-income households, according to the LSC. Also, $5 million would be used for IT grants; $1 million for student loan repayment assistance to legal aid lawyers; $19.5 million for management and grants oversight; ad $4.2 million for the Office of Inspector General.

In addition, the LSC is requesting $5 million to expand its Pro Bono Innovation Fund, an initiative first funded by Congress in FY 2014. This fund supports new and innovative projects that enhance pro bono efforts around the country.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.