Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general, submitted a letter to the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Committees on Appropriations to request robust funding in the fiscal year 2024 budget for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The letter highlights the critical work performed by LSC’s grantees across Illinois and the nation.
The LSC is a nonprofit legal services organization established by Congress in 1974 to promote equal access to justice for all Americans by funding independent nonprofit legal aid programs across the county. The LSC supports equal access to justice by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal services to those in need and serves as the nation’s single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans.
“Every resident in Illinois and across the country has the fundamental right to access fair legal representation,” Raoul said. “The Legal Services Corporation ensures those who need legal assistance most are represented, despite their income or personal hardships. It is imperative that Congress allocate this essential funding to protect that right for millions of Americans.”
The LSC provides millions of dollars in funding to legal aid organizations that serve and support low-income individuals, veterans and military families, seniors, survivors of domestic violence, victims of natural disasters, and people who have disabilities. LSC-funded programs assist those whose household incomes fall at or below 125% of federal poverty guidelines and are an essential component of comprehensive relief in communities ravaged by natural disasters. Seventy percent of clients served by LSC grantees are women struggling to keep their children safe and their families intact.
Joining Raoul in submitting the letter are attorneys general from Alaska, American Somoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.