Leading the Effort to Reinstate Funding for Civil Legal Aid in State Budget
State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-40) (pictured at far left) and Representative Patti Bellock (R-47) (pictured at immediate left) value the legal aid services provided by IEJF’s grantee organizations to constituents all over the state impacted by domestic violence, foreclosure and consumer fraud. They are leading the charge to reinstate funding for civil legal aid in the fiscal year 2018 state budget.
Representative Bellock, a longstanding champion of civil legal aid states “I am a strong advocate for restoring the funding for civil legal aid and the IL Equal Justice Foundation because their mission is extremely important in providing desperately needed services for women, men, and families who can really be just one step away from physical or financial disaster.”
“Accessing justice through our legal system should not be denied to any Illinoisan because of a lack of financial resources,” adds Senator Hutchinson. “Whether it is a victim of domestic violence or financial exploitation, or a pending foreclosure or child custody case, the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) ensures there are resources in our communities with all of the necessary tools to empower families and guarantee fairness in our legal system.”
Two years without a state appropriation means that civil legal aid services that help keep families and seniors housed, safe and economically independent are in jeopardy. “The lack of state funding for the IEJF is another casualty of the absence of a finalized budget and another reason we need a budget now,” states Senator Hutchinson.
Senator Hutchinson and Representative Bellock are hosting a legislative briefing on March 29, 2017 at 8 am in the Capitol, Room 627A to educate their colleagues on the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and how the state appropriation for civil legal aid plays a critical role for all Illinoisans. Sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, the event will feature a light breakfast. Please RSVP to Leslie Corbett at 312-938-2381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.