House boosts LSC funding without key Hoosier’s vote

The appropriations bill that included a significant boost in funding to the Legal Service Corp. passed through the U.S. House of Representatives without the vote of a key advocate of civil legal aid who said the measure contained too many “poison pills” and was impossible to support.

News Story (Indiana)

Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Lawyer
July 1, 2019

Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Indiana Legal Services (ILS)


Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana, who is a co-founder of the Access to Civil Legal Services Caucus in the House, joined the Hoosier Republican delegation in voting against the Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Indiana’s Democratic Representatives, Peter Visclosky and Andre Carson, voted in favor of the legislation.

The spending bill, which passed June 25 on a 227-194 vote, contained a provision allocating $550 million to LSC. This is an increase of $135 million over the corporation’s current funding and the largest appropriation proposal LSC has ever received in absolute dollars. However, the amount is still below the $593 million the LSC had asked for in its fiscal year 2020 budget request.

More than 90 percent of the federal appropriation is distributed to legal services providers across the country. Among the recipients is Indiana Legal Services, Inc. which has eight offices around the state and received $6.82 million from LSC in 2017.