Support for 366 million dollars in annual funding for the Legal Service Corporation

In President Donald Trump’s first federal budget blueprint released Thursday, he proposed cutting the 366 million dollars in annual funding for the LSC, one of 19 agencies in line for total elimination of funding.

The ISBA calls on every member of Congress to restore full funding. LSC provides civil legal aid to people who desperately need help to navigate the legal process. Without this assistance, court house doors will slam in the faces of millions of Americans, denying them equal access to justice.

Some of the worthy services the LSC provides include securing housing for veterans, protecting seniors from scams, delivering legal services to rural areas, protecting victims of domestic abuse and helping disaster survivors. Their offices are in every congressional district and they help almost 1.9 million people annually.

More than 30 cost-benefit studies all show that legal aid delivers far more in benefits than it costs. If veterans become homeless, or disaster victims cannot rebuild, their costs to society are significantly more.

LSC is an independent non-profit that was established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid. It is a grant-making organization, distributing more than 93% of its federal appropriation to non-profits, including Iowa Legal Aid.

LSC has had bipartisan support in Congress since its inception in 1974 because it embodies the principles that for two centuries have defined us as Americans – fairness and equal access to justice. These principles should be for all people regardless of economic status. As the budget process proceeds, the ABA will be working to ensure that Congress provides adequate funding for LSC. It is cost-effective, beneficial to millions of Americans and the right thing to do for our country.
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