March 19, 2019
The White House has once again proposed to eliminate the federal government’s primary mechanism for providing low-income people with access to our country’s legal system: its funding for legal aid. The Administration included this proposal in its “Major Savings and Reforms” for Fiscal Year 2020.
For the third time in as many years, the Trump administration has suggested the abolition of the Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”). LSC ensures that people in every county from coast to coast can–through grants to legal aid nonprofits–understand their rights and access our courts when they have a basic need at stake. While the FY19 budget appropriated $415 million dollars to LSC, this budget plan provides only $18 million, a $397 million cut, to essentially facilitate the closing of LSC’s doors.
In 2017, LSC Grantee organizations in California closed 75,000 cases and served 185,000 people, including 4,000 veterans and 18,500 seniors. This closure would take away almost 40% of California LSC Grantees funding and have a profound impact on the services provided to low-income Californians.
OneJustice firmly opposes these cuts and is gearing up to send six members of our team to Washington D.C. to meet with California legislators to ensure that LSC funding is protected. We trust the strong bipartisan support for civil justice in both the House and the Senate will ensure–as in FY18 and FY19–that congress acts to protect civil justice for all Americans.
To stay informed about the fight to protect legal justice for low-income Americans, please sign up for our grassroots network, Californians for Legal Aid, and keep a look out for our upcoming blog posts in preparation of OneJustice being in Washington, DC. Thank you!