Pro Bono News

State Restoring Aid for Civil Legal Cases (LA) (Op-Ed)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

State Restoring Aid for Civil Legal Cases

"Louisiana has decided to once again fund a legal aid program that helps low-income citizens deal with issues like housing, health insurance, employment, parental rights and protective orders against domestic abusers. The $500,000 appropriation for the fiscal year that begins July 1 may not seem like much, but each of those dollars yields a return of $9.13.

Only four states have failed to fund legal assistance for civil matters, and now there will be only three —Alabama, Florida and Idaho. The Times-Picayune editorial board said amounts budgeted by other states vary from $556,000 per year in Arkansas to nearly $72 million in Texas. Mississippi spends $708,000 annually.

Louisiana funded the program in fiscal year 2008-09, but when Bobby Jindal became governor in 2008, he eliminated the funding the following year. Legislators didn’t restore the funding until this latest appropriation.

Chris Ralston with the Access to Justice Commission said this new funding would allow agencies to apply for grants from national foundations that were previously out of reach without a state contribution..."

Continue reading