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State Proclamation Honoring IEJF Founding Trustees

News release - June 30th, 2016

Presented this 30th day of June 2016

WHEREAS, the Illinois Equal Justice Act (30 ILCS 765/1 et seq.) provides “equal justice is a basic right that is fundamental to democracy in this State, and the integrity of this State and this State’s justice system depends on protecting and enforcing the rights of all people”; and,

WHEREAS, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation was founded 17 years ago, in 1999, with the passage of the Illinois Equal Justice Act, which created a state appropriation for civil legal aid; and,

WHEREAS, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation administers and advocates for the state appropriation for civil legal aid in order to increase access to the justice system for all Illinoisans; and,

WHEREAS, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation funds civil legal aid programs across the state, ensuring that all residents, regardless of income, have equal access to the civil justice system.  These programs build stronger communities and a stronger Illinois; and,

WHEREAS, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation has awarded over $23.3 million in grants to nonprofit legal aid providers across the state serving the critical legal needs of approximately 560,000 Illinoisans in legal crisis since its first grant cycle in 2001; and,

WHEREAS, Michael A. Pope, Timothy L. Bertschy and Christine M. Ory served as founding Board members of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation from 2000 – 2010 and as Founding Trustees from 2011 – 2015; and

WHEREAS, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and its grant programs were strengthened through the leadership of Michael A. Pope, Timothy L. Bertschy and Christine M. Ory:

THEREFORE, I, Bruce Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby recognize the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and its Founding Trustees Michael A. Pope, Timothy L. Bertschy and Christine M. Ory for the vital role they play in increasing access to the civil justice system for all Illinoisans, regardless of income.

Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois