Congress Proposes 13.9% Cut to Legal Services Corporation Budget

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a federal agency created by Congress in 1974 that monitors  free civil legal aid in the United States and is currently the largest provider of civil aid to low-income American families.  However, Congress has proposed for fiscal year 2012 that the LSC budget be cut by 13.9%.  

 The joint U.S. Senate-House of Representatives conference calling for the 13.9% reducation in the interim $398.1 million fiscal year 2012 budget set to expire November 18, 2011 has yet to be confirmed. If the budget reduction pulls through, this would bring the LSC budget of $348 million to the level of fiscal year 2007, though the proposed budget is drastically lower than that of fiscal year 2010 when the agency received $420 million. 

The drastic proposal has already led to attorney and staff layoffs in many of the 136 nonprofit organizations that receive LSC grants according to an LSC spokesman interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.