TN AG Skrmetti Leads Bipartisan Coalition Urging Robust Funding for Legal Services CorporationCoalition highlights vital role of LSC in delivering civil legal assistance to residents most in need across all U.S. states and territories
Nashville – Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, in partnership with Attorneys General Schwalb (DC), Gentner (OK), and Campbell (MA) sponsored a letter by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) urging Congress to prioritize investment in the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in the FY2024 budget.
The letter explains that 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.
“The powerful impact of LSC’s work cannot be overstated, particularly in rural areas that tend to have the highest poverty rates in our country,” the coalition writes. “LSC’s grantees work to provide on-the-ground legal assistance to well over a million Americans annually: veterans struggling to access their benefits, seniors who have been defrauded, children in the foster system, renters facing eviction, victims of domestic violence, farmers struggling financially, individuals facing substance addiction, victims of weather-related events . . . the list is long and growing, but the legal needs of millions of Americans continue to be unmet due to a history of chronic underfunding.”
The broad bipartisan appeal to Congress by 37 attorneys general coalesces support around access to basic civil legal services for those Americans who face economic or other barriers to adequate legal counsel. LSC-funded programs assist those whose household incomes fall at or below 125% of federal poverty guidelines, and they 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.
General Skrmetti was joined in signing the letter by attorneys general representing the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Alaska, American Somoa, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Read more about the scope and reach of LSC’s work.