May 5, 2009 - Issue #68
On March 11, 2009, the 111th Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009. It includes the June 2008 House/Senate Appropriations Committee-recommended $40 million increase for the Legal Services Corporation, funding LSC at $390 million for FY 2009.
The Obama Administration should release its detailed FY 2010 budget proposal soon. ABA President H. Thomas Wells, Jr. wrote the Office of Management and Budget in March in support of the Administration’s expected FY 2010 request for LSC of $435 million. President Wells also urged the Administration to delete at least two of the restrictions on recipients of LSC funds that have been imposed through the appropriations bills since 1995. The ABA letter focused on the removal of restrictions affecting use of non-LSC funds and the receipt of statutorily-authorized attorneys’ fees.
Bar leaders from across the country participated in ABA Day in Washington 2009, April 21-23, to advocate on access to legal services issues. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) spoke to the group about his bill to reauthorize the LSC, S. 718. For more information, contact Julie M. Strandlie, Director, Grassroots Operations/Legislative Counsel, at or 202/662-1764.