New study committee on access to civil legal services

A new Study Committee on Access to Civil Legal Services was recently launched by the Wisconsin Legislative Council. The 16-member committee includes 6 legislators and 10 public members, including Jim Gramling, President of the Access to Justice Commission. The chair is Rep. Cody Horlacher and the vice-chair is Sen. Duey Stroebel. A full roster is available here. The study committee was created in response to a unanimous powerful request from the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The committee’s charge is “to review the …

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Good news on civil legal aid funding in Wisconsin

Summer is off to a good start when it comes to funding for civil legal aid in Wisconsin. On July 12, Governor Scott Walker signed Wisconsin’s 2015-17 state budget into law, including a provision that appropriates $500,000 in each year of the biennium for civil legal aid services to abuse victims. That funding was added to the budget by a unanimous vote of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee following a motion by Rep. MIchael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) and Sen. Alberta …

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Wisconsin moves forward on funding civil legal aid

Justice Mosaic in CapitolWe are pleased to report that on Friday, May 14, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve an amendment (pdf) to the 2015-17 state budget that allocates $1 million ($500,000 per year) for grants to provide civil legal aid services to low income abuse victims in Wisconsin. Jim Gramling, President of the Access to Justice Commission, had the following to say regarding the committee’s vote: “On behalf of the Access to Justice Commission, I salute the members of the Joint Finance Committee for their vote to help narrow the Justice Gap in Wisconsin. Victims of domestic violence in all four corners of the state stand to benefit from this action. Given Governor Walker’s strong support for services to domestic violence victims, I am certain he will take special pleasure in signing the Budget Bill knowing this provision is in it.”

“The motion’s sponsors, Rep. Michael Schraa and Sen. Alberta Darling are due special thanks for their role in making this possible. We also want to thank the committee’s co-chair, Rep. John Nygren, and the vice-chairs, Rep. Dale Kooyenga and Sen. Luther Olsen for their leadership throughout this process.”

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Making your voice heard

Wisconsin is one of only three states that makes no provision in its state budget for funding civil legal aid services to low income residents.Even if you’ve heard this statistic before, it continues to shock. The result is a legal system that struggles to provide equal justice to people who don’t understand the legal processes that could result in them losing access to housing, employment, their children, child support or safety. For months, representatives from …

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