April 12, 2010 - Issue #73
On February 1, 2010, the Obama Administration submitted its budget request for FY2011 to Congress. The Administration proposed freezing funding on most federal programs in an effort to reduce the budget deficit. Recognizing the important role of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and its historically inadequate funding, the Administration urged Congress to fund LSC at $435 million (a $15 million increase) and lift three of the restrictions on LSC-funded attorneys: (1) use of non-LSC funds; (2) receipt of statutorily authorized attorneys fees; and (3) filing of class actions. Subsequent to the submission of the Administrations budget request, Congress reached bipartisan agreement in the FY 2010 appropriations bill to lift the restriction allowing the receipt of statutorily-authorized attorneys fees.
On February 24, 2010, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science held a public hearing on LSCs 2011 funding. Then LSC Board Chair Frank Strickland and Interim President Victor Fortuno testified on behalf of the Corporation. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) has not scheduled any hearings related to LSC funding.
ABA Day in Washington will take place on April 20 - 22 and will once again organize bar leaders to educate their Members of Congress about the need for increased funding for LSC and bipartisan reauthorization legislation. More than 250 ABA and state/local bar leaders will participate in this years program. For more information, contact , Director, Grassroots Operations/Legislative Counsel or call 202/662-1764.