Washington eBulletin – May 2019

A Look Ahead

Despite White House Calls to Eliminate Funding, Legal Services Corporation Proposes Budget Increase

For the third consecutive year, President Trump has vowed to cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The proposal to defund LSC comes as LSC celebrates its 45th anniversary as the nation’s single largest funder of civil legal aid.

As the need for legal assistance grows, law libraries and legal information professionals are taking on new roles and services to support the administration of justice and provide access to trustworthy legal information. LSC promotes innovative partnerships and collaborations with other funders of civil legal aid, allowing providers to make the best use of limited dollars. Defunding LSC would threaten equitable access to information and access to justice for millions of Americans.

Fortunately, the President’s budget is a proposal, not law; the U.S. Constitution designates the “power of the purse” as a function of Congress. In Fiscal Year 2019, Congress funded LSC at $415 million, $5 million more than FY 2018 and a $30 million increase over FY 2017. This year, LSC has submitted a budget request for $593 million, an increase over last year’s request of $564.8 million.

In reaction to the President’s proposal, LSC President Jim Sandman said, “I believe that the bipartisan support LSC has enjoyed in Congress for almost 45 years will continue long into the future. We are grateful that Congress recognizes LSC’s vital importance in ensuring equal access to justice and has increased our funding in each of the last two fiscal years.”

Continuous improvement in access to justice is one of AALL’s core values and one our public policy priorities. AALL will continue to support full funding for LSC.

Act Now

AALL Day on the Hill / Register Now — Limited Spaces Remain

Join AALL on Capitol Hill to influence information policy issues and harness our collective voice for the profession. You’ll learn about the information policy issues on AALL’s agenda and how to successfully advocate for law libraries. Then take our message to Capitol Hill for meetings with your members of Congress and their staff. This year marks 30 years of professional advocacy for AALL; help us celebrate our anniversary by demonstrating the strength and expertise of the Association and our members.

  • Friday, July 12 / 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT
  • Marriott Marquis / Washington, DC
  • Register by Friday, May 17
  • Open to AALL members only – Free
  • Agenda now available

AALL in the States

SWALL Renews Support for UELMA

The Southwestern Association of Law Libraries (SWALL) recently reauthorized its support for the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) through an updated UELMA resolution, encouraging enactment of UELMA in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Roundup and Review