Budget battles are nothing new for the Legal Services Corp. But it’s been decades since the independent nonprofit established by Congress to fund free legal services for the poor has faced an existential threat like today.
In his 2018 budget released in May, President Donald Trump proposes giving LSC $30 million for one purpose alone: to shut itself down. The agency’s current budget is $385 million, which it distributes to 133 independent legal aid organizations across the country. The groups use the money to provide legal services to more than a million low-income people—victims of domestic violence seeking protection orders, seniors who’ve been scammed, tenants facing wrongful evictions, veterans denied benefits and more.
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