Throughout each legislative session and during interim years, the Commission works to ensure that lawmakers across the state understand how barriers to justice affect their constituents and raise awareness about the importance of access to justice for all Texans.
During Texas legislative sessions, the Commission hosts an ATJ Day at the Texas Legislature during which a team of volunteers visits legislators and leaders to discuss the critical access to justice issues affecting their constituents. This outreach has helped solidify legislative support for legal aid and make sure that access to justice is a priority for state lawmakers and leaders.
Looking ahead to the 88th Legislative Session
The 88th Texas Legislature will convene January 10, 2023. The Commission will be supporting both funding and non-funding legislation that will serve to increase access to the courts for low-income Texans.
The TAJC is supporting the Texas Supreme Court’s baseline budget request which includes approximately $20 million for basic civil legal services (BCLS) funds over the biennium and $10 million for LASSA (Legal Aid to Survivors of Sexual Assault) and $7 million for Veterans. The Court also requested an exceptional item (Exceptional Item No. 2) to include an additional $10 million in funding for Basic Civil Legal Services over the biennium. This exceptional item would fund two priorities resulting from the pandemic: an increased need for legal services for young people and an increased need for more effective access to courts.
The TAJC will be focusing on legislative issues related to increasing access to language services in courts.
How can you help?
Tell your elected officials that you support civil legal aid and you think they should as well. Click on the link below to find out who represents you on the state level.