Bar News - July 21, 2006
Thanks to Rep. Bass for LSC Funding Support
The New Hampshire Bar Association has a long history of support for adequate and increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation. This year, we have a partner with a vote in the House of Representatives. We all owe Congressman Charles Bass (R-NH) a thank you and congratulations for his vote in support of the Obey Amendment providing for increased funding for FY 2007 for LSC.
Bass joined about 40 other Republican House members in this affirmative vote that increased funding by $25 million to $338 million. Without this amendment, the appropriation would have been lower than it was in 1981. The vote preserves over $23,000 for the Legal Advice & Referral Center here in New Hampshire, and will have a direct service benefit for New Hampshire citizens.
Bass’ vote was consistent with his previous action in signing a “Dear Colleague” letter to other House members urging increased funding for LSC. The action is also consistent with the provision of civil legal services to the poor identified by the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Citizens Commission report and the call of ABA President Michael Greco for a limited “Civil Gideon” policy. Greco’s Access to Civil Justice Commission recommendation for such a policy will be voted on by the ABA House of Delegates in August at the Annual Meeting.
We all need to work to preserve the effect of Bass’ vote by urging our entire delegation to keep this level of funding through any Senate action or committee of conference.
Equal access to justice requires our continuing support.
L. Jonathan Ross
Attorney Ross is chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.