Budget cuts under Trump could hit South Dakota hard

A law office that assists low-income South Dakotans in civil cases like evictions, divorces, protection orders and collections would lose two-thirds of its funding under Trump's budget proposal.

News Story (South Dakota)

John Hult, Patrick Anderson
Sioux City Journal
March 25, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: East River Legal Services (Eastern South Dakota), Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


East Dakota Legal Services in Sioux Falls is the only option for free legal aid in 33 South Dakota counties. The $396,000 it gets each year from the federal government helps it serves between 300 and 400 people a year, Director Doug Cummings said.

Clients can’t make more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level and must have an immediate need for legal assistance, such as being served a subpoena or eviction notice. The agency turns down 75 percent of the people who need help. “We are reduced to being a legal emergency room,” Cummings said.