LSC receives $40 million increase for FY 2009

LSC board chairman Frank Strictland (left), LSC president Helaine M. Barnett, Legal Aid Executive Director Wilhelm Joseph

LSC board chairman Frank Strictland (left), LSC president Helaine M. Barnett, Legal Aid Executive Director Wilhelm Joseph

The Legal Services Corporation will receive a $40 million increase in funding for fiscal 2009 as part of an omnibus appropriations bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 11.

Under the new appropriation, LSC will operate on a budget of $390 million. Of that total, $365.8 million will be made available to 137 LSC-funded legal aid programs across the nation, including Maryland Legal Aid.

“The additional funding is critical to every one of our programs,” LSC President Helaine M. Barnett said in a press release. “Low-income individuals and families are increasingly at risk during this economic downturn and our programs are overwhelmed with requests for help.”

The Senate approved the fiscal 2009 omnibus bill on March 10 and the House approved the funding measure on Feb. 25. Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate had recommended the $40 million increase for LSC’s budget.

“We greatly appreciate the hard work of the Senate, and thank Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, members of Congress and their staffs, for making this funding increase possible,” Barnett said.

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