House Bill Cuts $70 Million from Legal Services Corporation Appropriation

Just a quick follow-up on our post last week about threats to LSC funding on the Hill.  LSC released a statement on Saturday, which reads in part:

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a $70 million cut in Legal Services Corporation (LSC) funding from the current level, reducing grants to 136 local legal aid nonprofit programs by an average of 18 percent.The proposed $70 million cut is from the Fiscal Year 2010 funding of $394.4 million provided to LSC programs. An effort to eliminate all funding for LSC programs was defeated on a bipartisan vote, 259 to 171, on February 16.

Under the House proposal, about 160,000 fewer low-income people would receive civil legal assistance and 80,000 fewer cases would be handled by the LSC-funded programs. The proposed funding cut would force layoffs of about 370 staff attorneys and shut down some offices in rural areas.

This cut is a part of a continuing resolution to fund federal programs through the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011.  So a battle about FY 2012 is still to come, but it suggests that LSC’s opponents will be active in pushing for funding cuts.  In light of the fact that LSC has long had enemies – and, we should note, many friends – on Capitol Hill, it’s noteworthy that conservative budget hawks are not just targeting programs to which they are ideologically opposed.  Here’s a good Washington Post article highlighting the fact that even programs which traditionally received conservative support find themselves threatened as some on the Hill are determined to cut spending at all costs.  All of this suggests that stakeholders in the equal justice community must take an all-hands-on-deck approach in supporting legal services funding in the coming weeks.

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  1. Tweets that mention House Bill Cuts $70 Million from Legal Services Corporation Appropriation « The PSLawNet Blog -- said,

    February 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

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