Message From the Executive Director

Funding Update: I am pleased to report that, despite renewed threats to eliminate civil legal services from the federal budget, on December 20, 2019, federal appropriations legislation including $440 million of funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was enacted. This represents an increase of $25 million over LSC’s appropriation of $415 million last year. It is the largest appropriation in actual dollars in LSC’s history. The majority of the increase—$22.2 million—is allocated for Basic Field Grants to fund the direct delivery of legal assistance to indigent Americans. NSLS is scheduled to receive just over $1.5 million of this LSC funding in 2020. This funding supports a Long Island “poverty population” of over 177,000 based on the national federal poverty guidelines as well as a population of over a million Long Islanders who do not meet the federal definition of poverty, but whose income does not cover basic necessities in our high cost of living community. The remainder of NSLS’s budget continues to come from the NYS Office of Court Administration, the NYS Interest on Lawyer Account Fund, the NYS Department of Health, the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and Nassau and Suffolk Counties as well as private grants and contributions from our generous supporters. While LSC funding is secure for 2020, NSLS remains committed to continuing to diversify its funding and working with the Nassau and Suffolk County Access to Justice Committees to ensure that all Long Island families have access to justice.

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